Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener (1947)
This is Michener’s first novel, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, inspiration for the musical South Pacific, and a quietly moving story of men and women far from home at a time of war. These tales are connected short stories in which a handful of characters appear. In the background, the invasion of a Japanese held island is being planned, but in the mean time, sailors and nurses fall in love, write letters home, drink, and fraternize with the local population.
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