Melal: A novel of the Pacific by Robert Barclay

IMG_8121.JPGBook set in Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. Reviewed on 2019/02:

“Death ruled the ocean. The ocean itself was not a dead thing, having never been alive, but the life in it existed only as a byproduct of death. Every living thing in the ocean was fleeing from something trying to kill it and eat it, and every little thing was out to suck the life from something else. The same thing was true of life on land, even with people – if one thing wanted to live then it had to take the life of another, to kill, swallow, and then crap out as much life as it needed to stay alive.” A few words taken from this outstanding book. This quote is also a great metaphor for all the horrible and sadistic damage which the Americans have inflicted and continue to inflict in the #marshallislandsits people and its nature. The quote also comes from the best part of the scene when the boys have failed to make it home and now they are floating #adrift and slowly approaching death. Beyond the political and social critique you read here, #robertbarclayalso masterfully weaves the present reality with #marshallese and #micronesiantraditions and mythology. These different levels give this book a sense of #magicalrealism with wondrous action and a touch of existentialism. What does it mean to never be allowed to return home? What does it mean to have a future dictated from decades of bad decisions? Is the deadly sea the only way out? #bestbookofthemonth here? Maybe! #highlyrecommended#universityofhawaiipress #melal#melalanovelofthepacific #majuro #kwajalein#readoceania #ebeye #atoll#ecologicaldisaster #mythological#pacificislander #displaced

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