In this extraordinary book, which grows out of decades of research, Thompson explores the meaning of cross-cultural contact and the fascinating history of Europeans in the South Pacific, beginning with Abel Tasman's discovery of New Zealand in 1642 and James Cook's famous circumnavigations of 1769-79. Transporting us back and forth in time and around the world, from Australia to Hawaii to tribal NewZealand and finally to a house in New England that has ghosts of its own, Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All brings to life a lush variety of characters and settings. Yet at its core, it is the story of two people who, in making a life and a family together, bridge the gap between two worlds.… (more)
Time is a flattened landscape, a land of unlinked lakes seen from the air. --Annie Dillard, Living by Fiction
For Aperahama, Matiu, and Dani Matariki
It is the evening of December 18, 1642, about an hour after sunset, ten, perhaps ten thirty at night, with the sky still holding the last vestige of light on the western horizon.
What matters is that we understand the past as something familiar and recognizable and, at the same time, something so foreign that we can barely make sense of it--like the sound of a conch-shell trumpet, Moorish and yet not quite Moorish after all.