On Fiji Islands

On Fiji Islands

Once feared as the ‘Cannibal Isles,’ Fiji made a remarkable transition -from warring chiefdoms to British colony to an independent nation- in little more than a century. Despite wave upon wave of missionaries, slavers, traders, imperialists and planters, the islanders emerged with their indigenous society, language, and lands largely intact.

Meeting people of all walks of life, travelling slowly through bustling towns, quiet villages, remote valleys and jungled mountains, Ronald Wright’s skills as a writer and historian help him understand how this archipelago of vibrant cultures came to endure and thrive despite the pressures of the outside world.


On Fiji Islands is a model of clarity and grace.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Wright is a connoisseur of the ways in which civilizations prey on one another.  Two years ago he achieved instant fame with his portrait of Peru; now he has turned his attention to the south sea islands… writing with a seamless and economical grace.”
Times Educational Supplement

“Ronald Wright’s skills as an ethnologist, political historian, and travel writer have found an ideal outlet… an excellent book.”

“With a skeptical curiosity [Wright] tells us a great deal, in persuasive and evocative prose, about how the Fijians moved, in a century, from cannibalism to Methodism.”
Robert Fulford, New York Times Book Review

“Ronald Wright is a superb travel writer, erudite, humorous, without bias, equipped with a true historian’s nose and the patience to watch the passing scene over warm beer in a fly-blown hotel.”

“An instant success, [Cut Stones and Crossroads] took its place alongside older classics in the Penguin Travel Library. His new book in not only a worthy successor, but probably better.”

“Part travel memoir, part history and anthropology, this is a compelling story.”
Publishers Weekly

“This is a fine travel book, personal without being pretentious, open-eyed without being naive, and I’ll gladly travel with Wright wherever he goes next.”
Washington Post Book World

Publishers: Eland Books (2020), Penguin USA, UK, Canada