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On Fiji Islands Book

Ron Wright is one of Canada’s most accomplished writers, a master of both fiction and nonfiction. His classic travel narrative, On Fiji Islands, was published in 1986 to critical acclaim. He has graciously allowed Fiji Guide to serialize his work for your enjoyment.

Fiji Guide Introduction to On Fiji Islands

It is my pleasure to introduce readers to Ronald Wright’s masterpiece, On Fiji Islands. In this work the author weaves his interests in history and ethnology into a visceral depiction of late 20th century Fiji. As the Washington Post proclaimed in a 1986 review: THIS IS A FINE...

On Fiji Islands — Nadi — Chapter 1.3

Derek bought two bark cloth place mats from the bushy-haired Fijian saleswoman. We were then approached by her son, a boy of about fourteen: “Good morning, sirs. If you like I can show you the village.” “What do you charge?” Derek asked.  “Whatever you think...

On Fiji Islands — Nadi — Chapter 1.4

During the last century, missionaries, officials, and antiquarians collected many Fijian oral histories and legends while the traditions were still fresh. No early account mentioned a mass migration from across the sea, or the great canoe Kaunitoni. Most yavusa (kin groups or...

On Fiji Islands — Nadi — Chapter 1.5

Krishna’s taxi sped flamboyantly, in the manner of Third World taxis, towards Lautoka, the second city of Fiji. “I like the dry side,” Derek said, more than once, but for me this part of Viti Levu (Great Fiji, the main island) was a disappointment. I had imagined soaring...

Lautoka City Bus - Classic Buses Ltd

On Fiji Islands — Nadi — Chapter 1.6

The narrow tracks of a sugar railway now ran beside the road. A train appeared with a vulgar blast on its electric horn: a boxy yellow engine pulling a dozen flat:-bed cars piled high and wide with blackened cane. The railway, the shiny Toyota and its Hindu icon, the women in saris with...

On Fiji Islands — Nadi — Chapter 1.7

It grew dark; the waiter who brought the beer became invisible except for his white shorts. After dusk some small creatures (birds?) began moving in fits and starts across the lawn. I got up to see what they were. They were frogs-strange frogs that did not jump but ran like sparrows...