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Wendt, Albert

CAMERON FAE BUSHNELL

Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.x


Extract

Maualaivao Albert Wendt (b. October 27, 1939, Apia, Samoa) is a foundational figure for Pacific literature. He has consistently proclaimed the right of artists from Oceania to shape their own culture. From his groundbreaking essay, “Towards a New Oceania,” through novels and anthologies, and to his current paintings, Wendt's artistic production has provided a map oriented toward a Pacific Island creative presence. Wendt's literary production includes seven novels; his third novel, Leaves of the Banyan Tree , received the 1980 New Zealand Wattie Book of the Year Award ( Hereniko 1993 , 51); his most recent novel-in-verse, The Adventures of Vela (2009) won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Asia/Pacific Region) ( Marsh and Teaiwa 2010 , 234). His first novel, Sons for the Return Home (1973) and the novella, Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree (1974) were both made into films. In addition, Wendt has had an active role in the foundation of Pacific literary studies in his capacity as editor of three regional anthologies, Lali, Nuanua , and Whetu Moana , and four “national” collections, focusing on poetry from Fiji, Western Samoa, New Hebrides (Vanuatu), and the Solomon Islands ( Somerville 2010 , 254). As editor, Wendt has been responsible for “producing a region”: concentrating on writers native to the islands, rather than on European writers residing in the region, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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