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Epeli Hau'ofs Biography

(1939– ), Tales of the Tikongs, Kisses in the Nederends, Our Crowded Islands

university pacific south island

Papua New Guinean novelist and short-story writer, born in Salamo, Papua New Guinea, educated at the University of New South Wales, McGill University, Montreal, and the Australian National University, Canberra. Following a succession of university appointments and a period as the deputy private secretary to the King of Tonga, he became Professor of Sociology at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji, in 1983. The twelve robustly humorous stories in Tales of the Tikongs (1983) are set on the imaginary island of Tiko; the social and cultural chaos produced by the collision of Western values and the island's indigenous traditions mirrors the absurdities wrought by accelerated change in the South Pacific. His novel Kisses in the Nederends (1987), a picaresque narrative of the protagonist's search for relief from his perianal afflictions, similarly reflects the difficulties inflicted on the Pacific states by colonialism and its legacy of continuing exploitation. Hau'ofa's works as a sociologist and anthropologist include Our Crowded Islands (1977) and Mekeo: Inequality and Ambivalence in a Village Society (1981).

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