Major authors: Albert Wendt, Sia Figiel, Epeli Hau’ofa

Michelle Keown*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter discusses the work of three Indigenous Pacific novelists: Albert Wendt, Sia Figiel, and Epeli Hau’ofa. Wendt, Figiel, and Hau’ofa all come from the anglophone south-west of Oceania, where Indigenous Pacific literature in English first emerged and became established as an academic field of study in the 1970s. The establishment of the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Fiji in 1968 played an important part in their literary trajectories, particularly Wendt and Hau’ofa. The South Pacific Creative Arts Society (SPCAS), founded at USP in 1972, provided publishing opportunities for many emerging writers from the countries served by USP. The chapter examines examples of fiction by Wendt, Figiel, and Hau’ofa, such as Leaves of the Banyan Tree (1979, Wendt), Where We Once Belonged (1996, Figiel), and Tales of the Tikongs (1983, Hau’ofa).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford History of the Novel in English
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 12: The Novel in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the South Pacific Since 1950
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780199679775
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Albert Wendt
  • Epeli Hau’ofa
  • indigenous pacific literature
  • indigenous pacific novel
  • indigenous pacific novelists
  • publishing
  • Sia figiel
  • tales of the tikongs
  • University of the south pacific
  • Where we once belonged


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