Author(s): Sia Figiel
“Girl can I give you a lift?” He smiled at me as if he were meeting me for the very first time.
Inosia, a huge fan of science and Star Trek, accepts a ride to Apia from her favourite high school teacher to buy thread for White Sunday. This sparks an intimate relationship between the two as they discover much more about each other through science, knowledge and love. A story about taboos, loyalty and the lingering impact of colonialism.
Freelove is the long-awaited new novel from Sia Figiel, esteemed writer of the Pacific. In 1994 she won the Polynesian Literary Competition. Her 1997 novel, where we once belonged, was awarded the South East Asia and South Pacific region Commonwealth Writer’s Prize: Best First Book.
Her writing is highly acclaimed for its innovative fusion of traditional and contemporary modes of storytelling, her groundbreaking exploration of sexuality and taboo themes, and for pioneering a female narrative that has influenced a generation of Sāmoan and Pacific writers in the Islands and in the diaspora.
Note: Contains sexual innuendo and explicit language.
Sia Figiel, born in 1967 is a Samoan novelist and poet whose work is published in New Zealand. She is often described as Samoa's first woman novelist. Her first book, where we once belonged (1996), won the Best First Book award in the South East Asia/South Pacific region of the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1997. Her second novel is They who do not grieve (1999). While both are novel-length narratives, neither conforms to a 'traditional' narrative structure. One account from publisher Pasifika Press suggests that where we once belonged 'attempts to structurally represent one of its central themes: the dominance of the community identity and continuity over the identity and growth of the individual.'
Figiel has also published two volumes of prose poetry, Girl in the Moon Circle (1996), and To a Young Artist in Contemplation (1998). Her poetry won the 1994 Polynesian Literary Competition.
Well known as a performance poet, she is a frequent guest at literary festivals. Figiel has held residencies at the Institucio de les Lletres Catalanes, Spain; the Pacific Writing Forum at the University of the South Pacific; the University of Technology, Sydney; and the East West Center – Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawaii.