A South Seas Classic Republished

I am pleased to share that the South Seas classic, Miss Ulysses of Puka-Puka, written by Johnny Frisbie, has been republished by Dockside Sailing Press. The book has been out of print for more than sixty years, and tells the incredible story of life on a remote coral atoll. With this new edition, the author added two new chapters and illustrated it with family photos and three maps.


Johnny is the daughter of American author, Robert Dean Frisbie, and whose mother was, Ngatokorua, a native of Puka-Puka. Johnny wrote the book between the ages of 12 and 14, and was originally published by Macmillan Co. in 1948 when Johnny was 15 years-old. Miss Ulysses has been written in three languages (Puka-Pukan, Samoan, English), and was the first publication by a Pacific Island woman writer.

The book tells her version of her life and travels with her family from isle to isle and through the atolls of the South Seas. Puke-Puka, some 1700 miles from Sydney, was an island of adventure to a child, and Johnny vividly gives her view of native life and customs. Voyages and journeys led to experiences of delight and danger as well. The family survived a tropical storm, lived as beachcombers on a desert island, visited a leper colony, and saw many more and less familiar South Sea spots.

Although through Johnny’s fresh and unspoiled eyes, we read of a Garden-of-Eden existence on a remote atoll. Her story is much deeper. Johnny had to learn at an early age to be self-reliant, as she was struck early by the tragedy of her mother’s death when Johnny was 9 years old. She also had to help her father care for four brothers and sisters until he fell ill and died when she is sixteen. Nevertheless, the book keeps a positive tone and is full of vivacity and humor.

It’s a must read! The paperback is available and I highly recommend that you purchase the book.

About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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