You are here

Brief Flashings in the Phenomenal World (Paperback)

Pre-Order Now Badge
Brief Flashings in the Phenomenal World By Katie Arnold Cover Image
Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now


A Zen study wrapped in a memoir of destruction and healing written by an elite ultrarunner as she struggles to make it to the other side of a life-shattering injury with her sanity, and her marriage, intact

After flipping her raft days away from help on a trip down the remote Salmon River, Katie Arnold’s shattered leg tests both her spirit and her marriage for years to come. It also reignites her meditation practice and motivates her to dive into Zen in search of healing. Before the accident, Katie was an elite ultrarunner with a simmering but adequate marriage who avoided being indoors whenever possible. But who is she afterwards?

In the midst of hardship, Katie turns for support to the Zen practice she had long dabbled in. Brief Flashings in the Phenomenal World is a Zen study wrapped in a memoir that tells the story of a search for stillness by a woman born for wildness. Spanning roughly two years, from shortly before the accident through the long, uncertain healing of both leg and marriage, it is a personal narrative of that tumultuous time nested inside meditations on Zen. 

Having gone from a reluctant spiritualist to a Zen practitioner over the course of a decade, Katie Arnold offers unique company for those seeking nature’s exquisite highs as well as for creatives, spiritualists, and sensualists who want to slow down and examine the possibilities of a well-lived life. As the late Japanese master Shunryu Suzuki wrote, “Sometimes a flashing will come through the dark sky.” These brief flashings are enlightenment—moments when we suddenly feel as if we’re part of everything, and everything’s part of us. This book is about how to experience the flashings when they come, and about what they mean for how we live our lives.

About the Author

Katie Arnold is the author of Running Home and a contributing editor at Outside Magazine. A Zen practitioner and elite ultrarunner, Katie teaches writing workshops exploring the link between movement and creativity. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Men’s Journal, ESPN Magazine, Marie Claire, Runner’s World, Elle, and Sunset, as well as on NPR Weekend Edition Sunday and The Upaya Zen Center Podcast. Katie lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband, Steve Barrett, their two daughters, and two dogs.

Praise For…

Praise for Katie Arnold's previous book, Running Home:

“In her debut memoir, Running Home, Katie Arnold does an admirable job of trusting the everyday material of her life. . . . She writes a story exploring how her growing preoccupation with running has been intertwined with loving and losing her father. She takes the risk of being ordinary, and therefore human. . . . We want to know how other people live, and Arnold shows us.”The New York Times Book Review

“Poignant and ultimately uplifting . . . will resonate with . . .  just about everyone.”The Washington Post

“This book is a gift.”—Oliver Payne, Articles Editor, National Geographic

“A contemplative, soul-searching account of the death of [Katie Arnold’s] beloved father and how she used long-distance running as a way to heal from the grief.”Kirkus Reviews

“Far more than a book about running, this touching memoir takes readers on a compelling and emotional journey as Arnold finds relief from her sorrow.”Library Journal

“Arnold masterfully captures the vulnerability of wading through grief with each step she takes towards self-discovery. This remarkable memoir will undoubtedly resonate with runners but equally so with children of divorce, new mothers, and those who have suffered the loss of a parent. An eloquent tribute to the complexity and vibrancy of a parent-child relationship.”Booklist (starred review)

“Katie Arnold is a gifted athlete and equally talented writer. In Running Home she speaks candidly about her relationship with her father and a family dynamic that verged on dysfunctional, yet was also empowering. Her story drew me in from the first line and I couldn’t stop turning the pages. A must-read for anyone looking for a deeper glimpse into the mindset of a fearless individual.”—Dean Karnazes, ultramarathoner and author of Ultramarathon Man

“[Running Home] invites comparisons with Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. . . . Gorgeous.”—Anna Leahy, LitHub

“Profound on every page . . . What Elizabeth Gilbert has done for travel, Katie Arnold has done here for running. I was breathless by the end, murmuring thanks. Running Home is an instant classic, one that will be read for years to come.”—Michael Paterniti, author of Love and Other Ways of Dying

Running Home is a lovely, big-hearted, and inspiring memoir that looks life’s challenges right in the eye. Katie Arnold writes about the curveballs and heartbreaks—as well as the joys—with a pure emotional courage that matches her physical feats on the ultramarathon trails. This is a book with soul.”—Susan Casey, author of Voices in the Ocean and The Wave
Product Details
ISBN: 9781952692697
ISBN-10: 1952692695
Publisher: Parallax Press
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English