The Beach of Falesa

By Robert Louis Stevenson
(Melville House, Paperback, 9780976140719, 124pp.)

Publication Date: April 1, 2005

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Paperback

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Description

"White men die very suddenly in Falesá."

Originally censored by its British publisher, The Beach at Falesá is a scathing critique of colonialism and economic imperialism that bravely takes on many of the 19th Century’ s strongest taboos: miscegenation, imperialism, and economic exploitation. It does so with a story that features a surprising and beguiling romance between an adventurous British trader and a young island girl, against a background of increasing—and mysterious—hostility. Are the native islanders plotting against the couple, or is it the other white traders? The result is a denouement that is astonishing in its violence. Told in the unadorned voice of the trader, it is a story that deftly combines the form of the exotic adventure yarn with the moral and psychological questing of great fiction.

The Art of The Novella Series

Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.




About the Author

Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1850, the son of a prominent engineer famous for building lighthouses. Although expected to continue the family profession, Stevenson’s earliest interests were literary. He studied law and was admitted to the bar but never practiced. Suffering from lifelong respiratory illness, he traveled extensively in search of a beneficial climate, living in Switzerland, the United States, and the Polynesian Islands. His first book was a travel book about a French canoe trip, but he soon branched out into poetry and fiction, including his massively popular children’s adventures Kidnapped and Treasure Island, as well as more subtle and morally ambiguous work such as his classic science fiction The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He died in Samoa in 1894.




Praise For The Beach of Falesa

"I wanted them all, even those I'd already read."
—Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

"Small wonders."
Time Out London

"[F]irst-rate…astutely selected and attractively packaged…indisputably great works."
—Adam Begley, The New York Observer

"I’ve always been haunted by Bartleby, the proto-slacker. But it’s the handsomely minimalist cover of the Melville House edition that gets me here, one of many in the small publisher’s fine 'Art of the Novella' series."
The New Yorker

"The Art of the Novella series is sort of an anti-Kindle. What these singular, distinctive titles celebrate is book-ness. They're slim enough to be portable but showy enough to be conspicuously consumed—tiny little objects that demand to be loved for the commodities they are."
—KQED (NPR San Francisco)

"Some like it short, and if you're one of them, Melville House, an independent publisher based in Brooklyn, has a line of books for you... elegant-looking paperback editions ...a good read in a small package."
The Wall Street Journal

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