Now available in ebook and audiobook formats, The Exotic is the true story of the Polynesian man who became the toast of eighteenth-century English society and whose complicated fate foreshadowed the cultural and racial reckoning of today
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Scribd, the reading subscription service that offers access to millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, podcasts, and more, has partnered with acclaimed narrative historian and New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides to publish his new nonfiction piece, The Exotic: Intrigue and Cultural Ruin in the Age of Imperialism, now available exclusively on Scribd. Known for his gripping adventure stories that bring fresh perspective to momentous historical events in books such as Ghost Soldiers, Blood and Thunder, and On Desperate Ground, Sides provides a fascinating look at a past that has shaped us all.
The Exotic explores the ramifications of European exploration and colonialism that changed the world forever.
Now available in ebook and audiobook formats, The Exotic is the latest story published by the Scribd Originals imprint, which features ambitious, original fiction and nonfiction short works. These vivid, compelling stories, many of which can be read in just a few hours, span a range of genres: long-form journalism, literary fiction, memoir, thrillers, mysteries, true crime, sci-fi, and narrative history. Notable authors who have published Scribd Originals include Margaret Atwood, Roxane Gay, Charles Yu, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Peter Heller, Bonnie Tsui, and Jess Walter. Scribd Originals are available to all Scribd subscribers as part of their $9.99/month fee.
The Exotic tells the story of Mai, a South Seas native who, in the 1770s, hitched a ride aboard one of Captain James Cook's ships and became the first Polynesian to set foot on British soil. Celebrated as the quintessential "noble savage," Mai was the toast of London. He met the city's most important thinkers and even received an audience with King George III. But for Mai, his long journey had only one purpose: to collect enough English guns and ammunition to destroy his enemies back home.
Though immortalized in books, plays, and paintings of the time, including a famous 1776 portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mai and his history-making arrival in Europe has largely remained a mystery—until now. The Exotic follows Mai's journey from Tahiti to England and back again, during which time he transformed into someone not quite Polynesian, not quite British. Having abandoned his homeland by traveling to England, Mai represents the countless Indigenous people who lost their identities, if not their lives, as a result of their encounters with the Western world. His story raises questions with no easy answers: What is Mai's legacy? How do we reinterpret the complicated role of an explorer like Cook? How do people retain their heritage while also assimilating?
Both a cultural study and an entertaining historical yarn, The Exotic explores the ramifications of European exploration and colonialism that changed the world forever.
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ABOUT SCRIBD ORIGINALS
Scribd Originals is a program featuring ambitious, original fiction and nonfiction, available exclusively on Scribd. These vivid, compelling stories, which can often be read in just a few hours, span a range of genres: long-form journalism, literary fiction, memoir, thrillers, mysteries, true crime, sci-fi, and narrative history.
ABOUT HAMPTON SIDES
Narrative historian Hampton Sides is the New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers, Blood and Thunder, Hellhound on His Trail, In the Kingdom of Ice, and On Desperate Ground. He is a contributing editor to Outside magazine and a frequent contributor to National Geographic and other publications. His work has been collected in numerous anthologies, and he is a two-time finalist for the National Magazine Award for feature writing. Hellhound on His Trail, about the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. and the hunt for his killer, was the basis for the acclaimed PBS documentary Roads to Memphis. Sides lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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