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The Wonder of the World
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About the Author

Christina Thompson is the editor of Harvard Review and the author of Come On Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New Zealand Story, which was shortlisted for the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Her essays and criticism have appeared in numerous publications, including Vogue, the American Scholar, the Journal of Pacific History, and three editions of Best Australian Essays. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Writer's Grant from the Australia Council, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Award. A dual citizen of the US and Australia, she lives outside of Boston with her family.

Reviews

"I loved this book. I found Sea People the most intelligent, empathic, engaging, wide-ranging, informative, and authoritative treatment of Polynesian mysteries that I have ever read. Christina Thompson's gorgeous writing arises from a deep well of research and succeeds in conjuring a lost world." -- Dava Sobel, bestselling author of Longitude and The Glass Universe
"Who hasn't stayed up late reading South Sea tales? Christina Thompson's Sea People is a South Sea tale to top them all-the exploration and settlement of the vast Pacific Ocean by stone-age Polynesians-and every word is true. It's a compelling story, beautifully told, the best exploration narrative I've read in years." -- Richard Rhodes, author of Energy: A Human History and the Pulitzer Prize winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb
"To those of the western hemisphere, the Pacific represents a vast unknown, almost beyond our imagining; for its Polynesian island peoples, this fluid, shifting place is home. Christina Thompson's wonderfully researched and beautifully written narrative brings these two stories together, gloriously and excitingly. Filled with teeming grace and terrible power, her book is a vibrant and revealing new account of the watery part of our world." -- Philip Hoare, author of RisingTideFallingStar
"I have rarely read so exciting and companionable a narrative as Christina Thompson's Sea People. In her capable hands this saga of Polynesia's scattered islands becomes a comprehensive and dramatic history of our planet and the ways its peoples, creatures, vegetation, land forms, and waters interacted over the centuries and eons since the world began." -- Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life andElizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast
"The ten-million square miles known as Polynesia was the last area to be settled by humans and is still the least understood chapter in history. With a flair for making the past live again, Christina Thompson give us a comprehensive story of Polynesia and of those who have studied it. Sea People tells the story of a unique geographic, cultural, and intellectual voyage across water and through time. Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Polynesia, the Pacific, or the spread of humanity around the globe." -- Jack Weatherford, bestselling author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
"Sea People teems with compelling insights as it explores the age-old mysteries of Polynesian origins. We don't just visit the turreted cliffs of the Marquesas with Mendana, the cloud-wrapped peaks of Hawaii with Cook, or the treacherous reefs of Raroia with Heyerdahl. We envision the whole panorama of European exploration and colonization against the even greater grandeur of Polynesian inventiveness, dignity, and self-determination. Thanks to Thompson's vision, we encounter an authentic global mystery that proves as vast and luminous as the Pacific itself." -- Paul Fisher, author of House of Wits: An Intimate Portrait of the James Family
"Thoroughly researched and engagingly written, Thompson's account shows how the science of human history, despite occasional wrong turns and dead ends, slowly but steadily advances. A must read for anyone fascinated by the Polynesians or interested in the history of science." -- Patrick V. Kirch, author of On the Road of the Winds
"A luminous, beautifully rendered account of Polynesian navigation and exploration, and the lives and knowledge that built and populated an astonishing Oceanian civilization. Thompson captures the remarkable deep history of a world shaped between land and sea." -- Matt K. Matsuda, author of Pacific Worlds
"Artfully written... [Thompson] writes with infectious awe and appreciation about Polynesian culture and with sharp intelligence about the blind spots of those investigating it at different times. This fascinating work could prove to be the standard on the subject for some time to come." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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