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Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea Paperback – 29 Dec 2004
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'A luminously written, thoughtful account
exemplary travel writing' -- Kirkus Reviews
'A remarkable work...her encounters with fierce-looking men and women are surprisingly accurate and full of charm' -- Tobias Schneebaum, author of Where the Spirits Dwell
'A travel book that transcends the genre...A resonant interior journey that offers wisdom for our times -- EDWARD MARRIOTT, author of THE LOST TRIBE
'Gripping travel writing' -- WANDERLUST
'Imagine you've read every travel book and were invited to meet the authors. You'd think: Which one is Kira Salak?' -- BRAD NEWSHAM, author of TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHSmith Travel Book of the Year Finalist 2003
'It is easy to see why the New York Times dubbed Kira Salak 'a real-life Lara Croft'...a delightfully escapist narrative' -- TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
'Kira Salak is a real-life Lara Croft' -- The New York Times
'Kira Salak is tough, a real-life Lara Croft...unlike many travel writers, she is hip to her inner workings' -- NEW YORK TIMES
'Kira Salak is widely regarded as the gutsiest and some say, craziest woman adventurer of our day' -- BOOK magazine
Kira Salak is the real thing...There should be more like her in the world' -- BENEDICT ALLEN, author of THE FABER BOOK OF EXPLORATION --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
The Beach meets Heart of Darkness in an extraordinary travel memoir charting 24-year-old Kira Salak's three-month solo journey across Papua New Guinea.
Following the route taken by British explorer Ivan Champion in 1927, and amid breathtaking landscapes and wildlife, Salak travelled across this remote Pacific island - often called the last frontier of adventure travel - by dugout canoe and on foot. Along the way, she stayed in a village where cannibalism was still practiced behind the backs of the missionaries, met the leader of the OPM - the separatist guerrilla movement opposing the Indonesian occupation of Western New Guinea - and undertook an epic trek through the jungle.
Selected by the New York Times Book Review as a Notable Travel Book of the year, Four Corners is both a gripping true story and a parallel journey into the author's past, where she revisits the demons that drove her to experience situations most of us can barely imagine. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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We would also hope that by the end of the story she learns to slow down and really appreciate or even take the time to be part of the culture around her but sadly this doesn't happen either.
To take this book as an inspiration would be to legitimise throwing your life on the line pointlessly and recklessly time and time again in order to hope to understand why you shouldn't. She did, and she was the lucky one who came out of it and survived. She can't understand the wisdom of others as to why taking unnecessary risks is....well....unnecessary. She never learns to judge for herself what is or is not worth the risk and when is the time to do it or when it is time to wait. She still ends up saying that if she wants to do something she'll do it, which having read the book means throwing caution to the wind and throwing your life away when it can be done> If something is really a geuine wish, by taking time and learning what the locals have learnt and using their wisdom to guide you, it is still possible to use the wisdom of others to further your own self-growth without being totally foolish and reckless.
However, she never learns to take the locals word for anything and gets into trouble again and again. Truly an independent minded person but hardly an inspiration to snyone unless they also have no respect for their own life - particularly as she spends half the book bemoaning the differences bewteen the sexes and apparently being pleased that men can also be raped. A little obssessed by her own hangups about her own sexuality which prevents her in any way accepting the culture of PNG which is all around her.
I would have to say don't follow this type of adventure yourselves, since, as evidenced in the book itself, around 7-8 out of 10 people showing such a lack of wisdom in their decision-making DO end up either raped, mutilated or dead and yes that does include the Westerners (especially because of their race) and yes it does occur to both sexes because there is nothing exclusively male or female about travel - cotrary to her limited perceptions.
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