Monday, April 5, 2010
Lure of Tahiti by A. Grove Day
The Lure of Tahiti : An Armchair Companion Edited by A. Grove Day 1986
I found this at the used book store down the street (marked down 3 times to $4!). This was one of my earlier finds for my South Pacific Literature collection and would prove to yield much bounty.
This book introduced me to the world of Mutual Publishing based in Honolulu which is still in business and very active. It is nice to see when you are on vacation in Hawaii you can pick up some of their titles at the local store or gift shops. It is an inexpensive way to introduce people to Hawaiian/Polynesian culture, since most of their book are paperback.
The Lure of Tahiti is broken into 4 sections: The Sojourners, The Travelers, The Missionaries and The Explorers. Each section has a story by a different author. It includes some heavy hitters of Tahitian fiction like James Norman Hall and W. Somerset Maugham. But also has some historical accounts by William Blight and Louis Antoine de Bougainville.
My favorite thing about these compilation books by Mutual, is that before each new story they give you a little background on each author. The other good thing about comps, if you aren't into the story you can skip to the next one.
Overall, it is a good collection and a great introduction (list price $5.95 from Mutual, still in print) if you want to get a taste of some classic Tahitian focused stories.