Coconut Chaos: Pitcairn, Mutiny and a Seduction at Sea ... (out of print)
This singular tale by Whitbread Prize-winning writer Diana Souhami (SELKIRK'S ISLAND) connects the famous mutiny on the Bounty in the Pacific Ocean in 1789 to the plight of the islanders of Pitcairn now. Its conceptual core is chaos theory: how a small chance thing, the taking of a coconut by Fletcher Christian from William Bligh's stores on the ship, had dramatic ramifications that continue today. The vivid narrative includes mutiny, travel, biography, incest, homosexuality, murder and rape, science and technology, fantasy and selective history. Sea voyages, most of them extraordinary, drive the narrative forward, the author's own journey to Pitcairn where Fletcher Christian hid to escape punishment; Bligh's navigation to Timor in violent weather, without maps, in a small boat, with scant supplies and starving men; the voyage to England with mutineers in chains and their shipwreck ...
As always, Diana Souhami has received wonderful reviews: 'Souhami is a name you can trust and here ... fact and fiction interweave with admirable grace' Melissa Katsoulis, NEW STATESMAN 'Souhami's instincts are so fine ... she is confident enough, too, to play with her readers' desire for narrative authenticity' Kathryn Hughes, GUARDIAN 'Pitcairn has always been a place of fabulous inventions ... It is a mark of her skill in this tricky literary territory that her fabrications don't worry us' Dea Birkett, SUNDAY TIMES 'Chaos is come again in this smart, witty, mutinous book' Frances Wilson, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'The history of the mutiny is related with the same intensity and thoughtfulness that characterised SELKIRK'S ISLAND ... ambitiously ... successfully mingles straight history and personal anecdotes' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Seamlessly and elegantly, Souhami weaves together the strands of past and present, and unravels parallels between Pitcairn's extraordinary beginnings and its equally extraordinary present ... full of love' MAIL ON SUNDAY
"wonderfully odd, charming and very funny" SUNDAY TELEGRAPH "deliriously bonkers travelogue-come-adventure yarn" INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY "a rare book, daring, clever and unique" WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY
Diana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books, including SELKIRK'S ISLAND, which won the 2001 Whitbread Biography Award. She has also written plays for radio and television.