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Samoan literature

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Title: Samoan literature  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Samoan literature, Fijian literature, Demographics of Samoa, Constitution of Samoa, Cabinet of Samoa
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Samoan literature

Samoan literature is diverse. The emergence of Samoan written literature (as distinct from oral literature) took place in the context of the development of indigenous Pacific Islander literature in the Pacific region as a whole, beginning in the late 1960s.[1]

Albert Wendt's novel Sons for the Return Home, in 1973, was one of the very first novels published by a Pacific Islander. Wendt subsequently published a number of novels, poems and plays--including Leaves of the Banyan Tree (1979) and The Songmaker’s Chair (2004)--and has become one of the South Pacific's best known writers. He was made Companion of the Order of New Zealand for his services to literature in 2001.[2] In 1980, Wendt edited Lali, the first anthology of South Pacific writing, which included works from fifty writers from the region.[3]

The South Pacific Arts Society, founded at the University of the South Pacific in 1973, published Pacific Islander literature (poetry and short stories) in the magazine Pacific Islands Monthly. In 1974, the Society founded the publishing house Mana Publications, followed in 1976 by the art and literature journal Mana. Samoan poets Savea Sano Malifa, the founder of the award winning Samoa Observer newspaper and artist Momoe von Reiche first published their works through the Society.[4]

Notable Samoan writers also include poets Sapa'u Ruperake Petaia, Eti Sa'aga and novellist and poet Sia Figiel. Figiel's novel Where We Once Belonged won the Commonwealth Prize for best first book for the Asia-Pacific region in 1997.[5]Emma Kruse Va'ai, a lecturer at the National University of Samoa is a poet and published writer. Caroline Sinavaiana-Gabbard is another poet from American Samoa.


  1. ^ "English in the South Pacific", John Lynch and France Mugler, University of the South Pacific
  2. ^ "Albert Wendt", New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre
  3. ^ "English in the South Pacific", John Lynch and France Mugler, University of the South Pacific
  4. ^ "English in the South Pacific", John Lynch and France Mugler, University of the South Pacific
  5. ^ "English in the South Pacific", John Lynch and France Mugler, University of the South Pacific

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