Location: Papua New Guinea
Sub-genre: adventure travel
Publication date: 2004
Kira Salak’s Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea is, first and foremost an adventure book. Salak takes the reader for a harrowing ride with her and reveals much of herself to the reader during the journey together. It is about where and how she fits in, how much she can endure, and in short, whether (or how) she will survive this trek into the jungle.
The book is also about the places she visits. Salak gives a decent amount of background on the culture and history of the places she goes, which gives the reader good perspective. Her stories are about the places, but more specifically, about the people in these places; her character sketches are one of the strengths of this book. She might have thought she’d be going to Papua New Guinea to go to a place, but in reality her journey became about relationships between others, and her own relationship with herself.
With all her great characters which supplement and support her journey, the book in its whole is still about how this journey, people, places, and bugs all included, changes her. She blended well her own change and story with descriptions of the place and the people for an on-the-edge-of-your-seat experience but pleasurable read.