Book description

Book info

Author
Title
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
PublisherUniversity of Hawaii Press
File size0.9 Mb
GanreFiction
Release date 03.06.1995
ISBN9780824816858
Pages count175
Book rating4.15 (33 votes)
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Epeli Hau'ofa was born in 1939 to Tongan parents working as Christian missionaries in Papua New Guinea. He served for some years as a personal secretary to the King of Tonga. He had a PhD in Anthropology, and was a major public intellectual and writer from Polynesia (AKA the South Pacific), or, as he preferred to call it, Oceania. He wrote some poetry, this novel, a collection of satirical short stories about a small fictional island country in Oceania called Tales of the Tikongs, several works of non-fiction, and numerous articles. He was a professor for the latter part of his life at the University of the South Pacific's main campus in Suva, Fiji. He died in 2009.

Now, about this book:

According to interviews with the author that I have read, he wrote this novel after suffering from a painful medical condition in the netherends (that is, "keester") for a few agonizing years. When he was finally cured, he wanted to write the pain out of his system.

Of course, he says, he could not tell a story without following his own predilection for spinning wildly satirical and outrageous tall tales. The story addresses life in Oceania and life in the wider world.

Now, about that term "tall tales": There is an oral genre in Oceania that is sometmes called a "tall tale," but these tall tales are NOT like the American tall tales about Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill. Instead, the tall tale to which Hau'ofa refersis generally a cock and bull story, full of exaggeration and absurdity, that is frequently a little (or a lot) off color.

Because he discusses a medical issue in the novel, some folks might consider bits of the story to be rude, and some folks might be uncomfortable discussing those details. I myself find Rabelais to be extremely rude and I have been a uncomfortable discussing the details of his works.

If you feel any discomfort, remember these words: "earthy, "humor," and "Rabelais."

This may be one of the funniest novels I ever read, but it is also serious in its sharp satire. It should challenge one's views of Oceania, the world, and of our rather serious condition as mortal beings living on this earth, under heaven.

Mr. Hau'ofa and a critic friend have said that it is a moral novel, and that it should be read in Sunday schools. They may have been joking a little (a lot??). But all satire is moral in the final analysis, isn't it?

Since he wrote this novel, Mr. Hau'ofa decided to stop the solitary work of writing literature, and until his death in 2009 he worked with other artists from Oceania at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, assisting and participating with them in the fine arts and the performing arts.

In my opinion this is an excellent novel. My only problem with it is that I can't decide if it is better than or "merely" "just" as excellent as his book Tales of the Tikongs.

Both deserve a wide readership and the author deserves credit as a world-class writer.

I recommend this novel and all of Hau'ofa's works (including the non-fiction!) very, very highly!

Tags: download, epeli hauʻofa, ebook, epub, kisses in the nederends

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