Return to Paradise

Return to Paradise


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James A. Michener, the master of historical fiction, revisits the scenes of his first great work, Tales of the South Pacific, the Pulitzer Prize winner that brought him international acclaim. In this sequel collection, Michener once again evokes the magic of the extraordinary isles in the Pacific—from Fiji and Guadalcanal to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea—through stories that burst with adventure, charm, and local color. For Michener’s many fans around the globe, Return to Paradise is a precious second look at a land of enchantment by one of the most gifted storytellers of the twentieth century.
Praise for Return to Paradise
“A brilliant book and a worthy successor to Tales of the South Pacific.”The Atlanta Constitution
“This is a book that should be read by everyone. . . . All who have seen the South Pacific will find on every page the odors of frangipani, copra, blood, and beer.”The New York Times
“There’s drama and pathos and adventure and humanity . . . and a very high degree of excellence. Michener can write.”Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812986778
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/07/2015
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 318,579
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

James A. Michener was one of the world’s most popular writers, the author of more than forty books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Tales of the South Pacific, the bestselling novels The Source, Hawaii, Alaska, Chesapeake, Centennial, Texas, Caribbean, and Caravans, and the memoir The World Is My Home. Michener served on the advisory council to NASA and the International Broadcast Board, which oversees the Voice of America. Among dozens of awards and honors, he received America’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1977, and an award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 1983 for his commitment to art in America. Michener died in 1997 at the age of ninety.

Date of Birth:

February 3, 1907

Date of Death:

October 16, 1997

Place of Death:

Austin, Texas


B.A. in English and history (summa cum laude), Swarthmore College, 1929; A.M., University of Northern Colorado, 1937.

Read an Excerpt

MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO, WHEN THE CONTINENTS were already formed and the principal features of the earth had been decided, there existed, then as now, one aspect of the world that dwarfed all others. It was a mighty ocean, resting uneasily to the east of the largest continent, a restless ever-changing, gigantic body of water that would later be described as pacific.

Excerpted from "Return to Paradise"
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Copyright © 2015 James A. Michener.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
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Return to Paradise 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this 'sequel' to the more highly regarded TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC, author Michener adopts a somewhat different format. For each of the South Pacific islands included, he first writes an essay about its history and culture. He follows the essay with fiction, an original story set on that island. He not only writes about such obvious choices as Tahiti and Fiji he also includes both Australia and New Zealand. His story set in New Zealand, a World War II homefront piece entitled UNTIL THEY SAIL, later became a film. That's the one part of this book that I remembered clearly, after a good 40 years, when I sat down to read RETURN TO PARADISE for the second time. Michener's essays describe the South Pacific as it was in the late 1940s, several years before this 'tail end' baby boomer was born, so today's reader needs to approach them as history and treat them accordingly. As such, they're intriguing. Some of the accompanying stories are equally dated, but I was surprised to find others echoing with human dilemmas only too familiar in today's world. UNTIL THEY SAIL didn't disappoint me a bit when read from a mature (think 'old enough to be a grandma') woman's viewpoint, even though I last read it as a girl not long into adolescence. It helped me understand my parents' generation, then. This time around it reminded me that what happens to men and women separated (or brought together) by war is universal, and its dynamics never change. Michener is always worth reading. 5 stars for sheer durability!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Makes me want to live on an island but alas things have changed. Historical and correct for the times. I’m one of the fools that believe the South Pacific holds wonders and paradise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrific book. This is Michener at his best, kind of a miniture version of Hawaii.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago