The Stolen Island: Searching for 'Ata
Uncovering the tragedy of 'Ata takes Scott Hamilton on a journey to the kava circles and caves of Tonga and back to the streets of Auckland.
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One day in 1863 a strange ship stopped at 'Ata, a tiny island in the wild seas between Tonga and New Zealand, and sailed away with one hundred and forty-four men, women, and children. The 'Atans were never heard from again, and in Tonga their fate became the subject of legends and superstitions. Uncovering the tragedy of 'Ata takes Scott Hamilton on a journey to the kava circles and caves of Tonga and back to the streets of Auckland. The Stolen Island is a twenty-first century true sea story revealing slavers, mutinies, castaways, pirates and a cruel streak in Pacific history that is often overlooked but not forgotten.
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Scott Hamilton has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Auckland and has published books and essays about British socialism, Tongan art, kava drinking, and New Zealand history. He won the inaugural Auckland Mayoral Literary Grant in 2015 for his study of the city's Great South Road and wrote The Stolen Island with the help of a D'Arcy Literary Residency. He contributes regularly to the online arts journal Eyecontact and blogs at readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz