“About Islands on the Fringe A Year of Micronesian Waves and Wanderers:
Voyage to the outcrops of the tropics, where dreamers and degenerates mingle in an exotic setting of mysterious jungle ruins, narcotic drinks, and secret un-surfed waves. In this encomium to his experience teaching English in Micronesia, S. Jacques Stratton offers a wry portrayal of the ex-pat life, conveyed through vignettes and characters that evoke a lost, limnal latitude.
S. Jacques Stratton’s memoir offers a brief slice of his life, beginning in mid-1999, when he spent a year living and teaching at the College of Micronesia on the island of Pohnpei.
At the time, Stratton was recovering from a broken engagement–his fiancée wanted a more cosmopolitan life; he sought adventure and surfing–and Micronesia seemed to be the answer. The Los Angeles native knew he’d have to make adjustments, but didn’t realize how extensive they would be. As a man on his flight to Pohnpei told him, “Life on the Fringe will alter your sensibilities. Once you acclimatize to the general degradation, you’ll eat Spam straight from the can and call it breakfast!”
Spam from a can was the least of his adventures. The book details his interactions with teaching colleagues, students, natives and ex-pats who populate the island. There are tainted brownies, a traditional mud-like drink called sakau, a brush with a shark, and a seemingly lustful missionary’s daughter who ends their very brief relationship by loudly and publicly declaring him a “sleazebag.”
Both memoir and travelogue, augmented with photographs from the author’s collection, Islands on the Fringe will spark the wanderlust of those who crave offbeat adventure beyond the main-traveled routes.
Targeted Age Group: 25-60
Written by: S. Jacques Stratton
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