Learning about a new area of the world is always eye-opening—whether you’re setting foot in a new city yourself or reading about the adventures of others. With the flip of a page, the following stories take readers to far-flung corners of the world, offering three very different perspectives of the South Pacific.
The Bone People by Keri Hulme
Set in New Zealand, this powerful novel tells the story of Kerewin Holmes, an artist with Maori and European roots who is navigating the complex relationship between the two halves of her mixed heritage. At times unsettling—dealing with themes of violence and abuse—this Booker Prize-winning story sheds light on Maori spirituality and offers a spellbinding look at life in New Zealand.
The Secret River by Kate Grenville
After stealing a load of wood in 1806, an English bargeman and his wife are deported to the South Wales Colony—known today as Australia. The couple falls in love with this new exotic part of the world and the bargeman, William, quickly realizes that in order to continue to live there he must forcibly take the land from the people who came before him. Although the story is fictitious, it provides insight into the first meetings of the European and Aboriginal people, and offers rich descriptions of the beauty of 19th-century Australia.
The Journals by Captain James Cook
This British explorer, navigator, cartographer and naval captain is known for having the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, as well as the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand. His journals chronicle his travels between 1768 and 1779, ranging from the Antarctic to the Arctic and offering a detailed description of the natural history of the Pacific—all told in Cook’s own courageous and curious voice.
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