Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television

since 1987

Review: Afakasi Woman a powerful and transformative read

Afakasi Woman front cover, illustrated by artist Nikki Mariner.

2019 has seen the release of a number of Pasifika films, short films and literature. Take Home Pay, For My Father’s Kingdom, Mophead, Crafting Aotearoa and more – the demand for Pacific and indigenous stories has grown exponentially. So too has the need for Pacific storytellers to create and tell their own narratives, and for Samoan/Māori author Lani Wendt Young, this has been the crux of her writing prowess.

Re-released in hardcopy form by New Zealand publisher OneTree House, her book Afakasi Woman is one for eager readers of Pacific literature to quench their thirst. Featuring a brand new cover illustrated by Nikki Mariner, and an additional five new short stories, Afakasi Woman is a treasure trove of funny, poignant and powerful narratives.

While the book encompasses many of Lani’s own experiences and that of Afakasi and Samoan women living in the islands, they are tales that many women can relate to. From youth, marriage, childbirth and loss, these stories are told with refreshing candour, good humour and shared through the earnest familiarity of a Samoan cultural lens. A lens which Pacific women can know and understand, and see themselves reflected in the pages within. This is what makes Afakasi Woman a powerful and transformative read.

By Alice Lolohea

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