ebook, 318 pages
Available as an ebook only. Retail price set at $9.95, but individual sources will differ. Check your reading device's store. Available December 2010.
ePub ISBN: 978-1-60940-144-3
Kindle ISBN: 978-1-60940-145-0
Library PDF ISBN: 978-1-60940-146-7
After John Howard Griffin's escape from Nazi-occupied France, he was stationed as an isolated observer in the Solomon Islands. That experience led to his second novel, Nuni (1956). As in his first novel, The Devil Rides Outside, and later in Black Like Me, the author encounters "the Other." In Nuni, that reality is a "primitive," almost Neolithic society. The main character learns to cope, not so much in terms of survival as in finding a new meaning to his life. The Chicago Tribune described Nuni as "an extraordinarily interesting account of a white man's life in a savage island village of the Pacific -- the greater part of the novel is concerned with the growth in the narrator, a knowledge of as well as affection for the curiously innocent people." The Dallas Times-Herald wrote: "The two greatest novels of the past decade are William Faulkner's A Fable, and John Howard Griffin's Nuni".
Queen's Quarterly (Canada)1956
In Nuni, Griffin pushes his exploration of the self even further. An English professor is abruptly thrust into a primitive pre-intellectual society on a Pacific island where his masks and roles mean nothing. It is a kind of derisive reversal of the Robinson Crusoe plot — where man conquers his environment because he is a product of Western civilization, and hence superior. Here in Nuni, he is peeled of his layers: professor, father, husband, civilized man, superficial Catholic. Finally we have the essential man, at the frontiers of self. In the process of this sloughing off of the accretions of his world, he loses other attributes too: fear, pride, nostalgia, sentiment, selfishness. Reduced to extremities, rendered in the fire of his ordeal, the professor rises above the murk of his elemental level to a new, freshened view of his life's meaning. And it is in Nuni that Griffin reaches the frontiers of realism.
— Eugene McNamara, in Queen's Quarterly
Dallas Morning News1956
Griffin's first novel, The Devil Rides Outside, was a shattering experience. Internationally acclaimed for its originality and vitality, it presented powerfully Griffin's own spiritual evolution. His second novel, Nuni, is a serious work from an impassioned mind . . . a solid achievement that guarantees faith in Griffin's immensely meaningful future. -- Lon Tinkle, in the Dallas Morning News.
An extraordinarily interesting account of a white man's life in a savage island village of the Pacific — the greater part of the novel is concerned with the growth in the narrator, a knowledge of as well as affection for the curiously innocent people. I feel rewarded for having read it. — Paul Engle, in the Chicago Tribune.
Dallas Times Herald1956
The two greatest novels of the past decade are William Faulkner's A Fable and John Howard Griffin's Nuni. -- Decherd Turner, in the Dallas Times Herald.
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John Howard Griffin