On the shelf: ‘The Last Men: New Guinea
’ by Iago Corazza

By Rebecca Near

Grand Rapids Public Library, Main


New Guinea, the second largest island in the world, has a complicated history. To start, it’s divided into two halves: the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua in the west, and the eastern half is the independent country of Papua New Guinea. Amazingly, the 7 million people on the island are divided up into almost 1,000 different tribes and languages, making it the most linguistically diverse spot on the planet.


Corazza’s book focuses on the unique photographic depiction of these endangered cultures, with succinct commentary. Some of it seems truly bizarre, as if the author had dropped in on another planet altogether, but maybe that’s what they would say about us! In any case, Corazza provides unforgettable images for the armchair traveler.