This place is the northern limit of Eugene Burdick’s Oceania—the realms of Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. In this book the author of The Ninth Wave and co-author of The Ugly American explores a world rich in paradox and in drama, a modern world of polyglot islanders and of primitive savages, a physical world of languorous beauty and uncompromising rigors. Some of the story must be told factually. The ocean itself is described in terms of its surface currents, the life of its tremendous depths, its winds, and the migrations of its birds. Some of it must be told n terms of its peoples—their histories and their customs forming the frame for individual portraits. And some must be told as fiction, to do justice to the subtle interplay of forces between the islander and the invader, the islander and the limitations of his tiny world, the foreigner and his acceptance of exoticism. Here are poignant love stories of outsiders trying to come to terms with a life at once violent, remote, and inescapably alluring. “Blue, pure undiluted blue,” wrote Eugene Burdick in his last book, “is the rarest color in nature. Yet in the South Pacific, in the deep waters about the Tropic of Capricorn, blue is everywhere and in the most startling hues and intensities … This is a marvelous accident, for the blue forms a vast background for the white sand and coral of the atoll and the dense green and brown of the high island. No other color would frame it quite so well. The blue water is close to perfect.” And so is this book.
Author: Eugene Burdick