This singular tale by Whitbread Prize-winning writer Diana Souhami ('Selkirk's Island') connects the famous mutiny on the Bounty in the Pacific Ocean in 1789 to the plight of the islanders of Pitcairn now. Its conceptual core is how a small chance thing, the taking of a coconut by Fletcher Christian from William Bligh's stores on the ship, had dramatic ramifications that continue today. The analogy is with chaos theory in science: how a small variation in conditions can result in dynamic transformations elsewhere. This story moves from a simple, random event to its complex connections. The vivid narrative includes mutiny, travel, biography, incest, homosexuality, murder and rape, science and technology, fantasy and selective history. Sea voyages, most of them extraordinary, drive the narrative forward, the author's own journey to Pitcairn where Fletcher Christian hid to escape punishment; Bligh's navigation to Timor in violent weather, without maps, in a small boat, with scant supplies and starving men; the voyage to England with mutineers in chains and their shipwreck...This is not be a one thing after another book, it is a continuum where things interrelate a metaphorical voyage that leads to the chaos of Pitcairn's unlawfulness today.
Full Product DetailsAuthor: Diana Souhami
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Dimensions: Width: 13.80cm , Height: 2.70cm , Length: 21.60cm
ISBN 10: 0297847872
Publication Date: 12 April 2007
Audience: General/trade , General
Publisher's Status: Out of Print
Availability: In stock at warehouse
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Table of Contents
'Here is a cunning and beguiling little book about Pitcairn Island, past and present, which intrigues the reader from the first page to the last.' THE DAILY MAIL Souhami's instincts are so fine... She is confident enough, too, to play with her readers' desire for narrative authenticity. -- KATHRYN HUGHES THE GUARDIAN Pitcairn has always been a place of fabulous inventions... It is a mark of her skill in this tricky literary territory that her fabrications don't worry us. -- DEA BIRKETT SUNDAY TIMES The exploits of Bligh and Christian are reinterpreted by each generation, and this is an elegant, playful version for our own. -- SARA WHEELER THE TIMES Chaos is come again in this smart, witty, mutinous book. -- FRANCES WILSON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH Coconut Chaos is a delight, moreish and funny, balancing between fact and fiction, linking together past and present, action and consequence, history and imagination. In the process Souhami raises questions about the linear narratives we use to make sense of the chaos around us, and, at the same time, revels in them. OBSERVER The history of the mutiny is related with the same intensity and thoughtfulness that characterised Selkirk's Island... ambitiously... successfully mingles straight history and personal anecdotes. DAILY TELEGRAPH Seamlessly and elegantly, Souhami weaves together the strands of past and present, and unravels parallels between Pitcairn's extraordinary beginnings and its equally extraordinary present... full of love. -- MATTHEW DENNISON MAIL ON SUNDAY Souhami interweaves the two narratives in a double helix, the original mutiny and her tribulations on Pitcairn today. In doing so, she conveys the true Homeric grandeur of the tale, for that original mutiny continues to generate extraordinary events. DAILY EXPRESS Souhami is a name you can trust and here, as in her previous books, she proves herself to be a master storyteller in whose elegant hands fact and fiction interweave with admirable grace. -- MELISSA KATSOULIS NEW STATESMAN It's subversive, philosoophical, deliberately chaotic, and a rattling good yarn. THE INDEPENDENT It's bonkers but somehow it works. Highly recommended. DIVA a strange and hugely entertaining hybrid of history, autobiography, travelogue, and police procedural, leavened with a little chaos theory and a certain amount of mischief-making. LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS Her accomplished narrative is rich in both descriptive writing and the interplay of ideas about history, biography and destiny. THE FIRST POST
Diana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books, including SELKIRK'S ISLAND, which won the 2001 Whitbread Biography Award. She has also written plays for radio and television.
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