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by Sia Figiel
In Where We Once Belonged, Sia Figiel evokes the Samoan tradition of suʻifefiloi, weaving words like a patchwork quilt of poetry. And she does this beautifully
In Where We Once Belonged, Sia Figiel evokes the Samoan tradition of suʻifefiloi, weaving words like a patchwork quilt of poetry. And she does this beautifully. Where We Once Belonged tells the story of Alofa, a young Samoan girl figuring out her identity within her community and further, her culture.
Alofa tells us about her school life, her church, her favourite television programmes, and her family. The true beauty of Sia Figiel's novel, however, is that it provides a foil to external, Western interpretations of Samoan life. She tells us of local practices, customs and mores. She describes what she eats and how it is cooked. She details her relationships with her friends, parents and teachers. Mention of this contrast with 'official' views of the culture come late in the book, because the perspective is consistently that of the young girl narrator. In some ways this is unfortunate, since the book has real direction once this is understood.
Sia Figiel grew up amidst traditional Samoan singing and poetry, which heavily influenced her writing. Figiel's greatest influence and inspiration in her career is the Samoan novelist and poet, Albert Wendt. Her formal schooling was conducted in Samoa and New Zealand where she also began a Bachelor of Arts, which was later completed at Whitworth College (United States)
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Sia Figiel has written a passion, a song of longing and loss, a song of fire. The young woman in Where We Once Belonged and the world she seeks to navigate are marvels of prose. Sia Figiel is to be congratulated on this complex, funny and richly rewarding novel. Courier-Mail, Australia.
Register for free to build your own book lists. Books By This Author. They Who Do Not Grieve. Fiction, Social life and customs, Family, Social conditions, Women-social conditions, Manners and customs, Women, samoan, Samoan islands.
Find nearly any book by Sia Figiel. Get the best deal by comparing prices from over 100,000 booksellers. Sia Figiel (Figiel, Sia). used books, rare books and new books. Find all books by 'Sia Figiel' and compare prices Find signed collectible books by 'Sia Figiel'. ISBN 9782742730599 (978-2-7427-3059-9) Softcover, Actes Sud, 2001. ISBN 9783293202061 (978-3-293-20206-1) Softcover, Unionsverlag, 2001. Find signed collectible books: 'Alofa.
A powerful kaleidoscope of Samoan life which will change your views of the Pacific paradise for ever. Written from the point of view of a 13 year old girl. You better not say anything to me, Alofa. Do you understand?' 'I don't even want you to come with us.