Maualaivao Albert

Wendt

Maw

Maualaivao Albert Wendt’s Biography

Discipline:
Novelist/Poet
Awards:
Arts Foundation Icon 2018
Highlight:
“We can’t rewalk the exact footprints we make in the stories of our lives but we’ll hear again our footprints like the lullabies our parents sang us the moment our stories end. Perhaps out of our footprints our children will nurse wiser lullabies.”

Maualaivao Albert Wendt is regarded as the forefather of Pacific literature. Writing since the early 1960s, Wendt is internationally renowned as one of Oceania’s most influential novelists, poets, and thinkers. Over the past fifty years, his writing, teaching and research have had a significant impact on how Samoa, the Pacific, and New Zealand are perceived. In addition, his work has shaped how we structure, teach and read Pacific literature, history and art, and his influence on the way we understand indigenous cultures, colonialism and colonized peoples is immeasurable. He has taught across Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, and Hawai’i, where he has had a major impact on the development of Pacific Studies.

Wendt has written eight novels, six collections of poetry, four collections of short stories and he has edited nine anthologies. Sons for the Return Home, 1973 was the first novel to be published by a Samoan writer, and in 1979 it became the first feature film to be based on a novel by a Samoan. His work has been celebrated all over the world and has been translated into languages such as Chinese, Dutch, German, French and Japanese.’