Monday, August 21, 2006

THE LAST HEATHEN by Charles Montgomery (2004)

Shortlisted for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction, this memoir is subtitled "Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in Melanesia." Montgomery's great grandfather was the Bishop of Tasmania at the end of the 19th century. At that time, the volcanic islands that make up Melanesia were a hotbed of cannibalism and witchcraft. Travelling in his relative's footsteps, Montgomery explores the effects of colonialism and marvels at cultural anthropology and myth making.

A compelling read.

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