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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 12: The Novel in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the South Pacific Since 1950$
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Coral Ann Howells, Paul Sharrad, and Gerry Turcotte

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199679775.001.0001

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Indigenous Pacific Fiction in English

Indigenous Pacific Fiction in English

The ‘First Wave’

(p.499) 32 Indigenous Pacific Fiction in English
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Steven Winduo

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the first wave of Indigenous Pacific novels written in English, which dates back to around 1955 and culminates in 1980 with the publication of Albert Wendt's edition, Lali: A Pacific Anthology. The period's ideals are summed up in Wendt's 1976 essay, ‘Towards A New Oceania’: ‘The new Pacific literature examines (and laments), often angrily, the effects of colonialism...’. Representing the social and cultural experiences of Islanders from the inside was the project, with the aim ‘to liberate and understand themselves in the rapidly changing world of decolonization’. The chapter first considers examples of early Indigenous writing before discussing the work of Indigenous Pacific fiction writers such as Wendt, Tom Davis and his wife Lydia Anderson Davis, Vincent Eri, and Patricia Grace. It also explores the role of the South Pacific Creative Arts Society in promoting the first generation work by Indigenous Pacific writers.

Keywords:   colonialism, Indigenous Pacific novel, Albert Wendt, Oceania, Pacific literature, decolonization, Indigenous Pacific fiction, South Pacific Creative Arts Society, Indigenous Pacific writers, Lydia Anderson Davis, Vincent Eri, Patricia Grace

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