No more bounty on a mutineers’ island ripped apart by the discovery that rape and child molestation were a way of life for generations
By Janice Harayda
How has Pitcairn Island changed since Dea Birkett wrote about her spooky visit to the refuge of the Bounty mutineers in her memoir, Serpent in Paradise?
Vanity Fair www.vanityfair.com gives a chilling update in its January 2008 issue. In “Trouble in Paradise” William Prochnau and Laura Parker investigate the long-buried shame of Pitcairn: generations of rape and child molestation that led to a series of shocking trials that sent eight of its men to prison. Their report is far more shocking than anything in The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold’s grim novel about a woman who murders her mother and stuffs her in a freezer.
Book clubs may want to read the Vanity Fair article along with Serpent in Paradise (Anchor, $12.95), reviewed on One-Minute Book Reviews on May 7, 2007, with a reading group guide posted separately the same day www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/05/07/. Birkett www.deabirkett.com took photographs of the island that would make excellent visuals for a meeting. One is shown here, and others appear on the page for her book on the Anchor Books site http://www.randomhouse.com/boldtype/1097/birkett/scrapbook.html.
Photo of the Pitcairn landing: (c) 1997 Dea Birkett
© 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.