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Fiji Fiction, Songs and Drama

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Fiji Fiction, Songs and Drama

Beyond Ceremony: An Anthology of Drama From Fiji edited by Ian Gaskell. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9820203139. Recommended retail price $39.

From traditional ceremony to postmodern farce, the plays in this compilation reveal the rich diversity and imaginative vision of Fiji's foremost playwrights. Gathered together for the first time, Nacola, Hereniko, Pillai, Thomas and Mishra collectively articulate their sense of this complex, contradictory society. As the literary record of theatrical activity, drama is the most social of the arts. Its power to reflect, to confirm and to construct community makes it a powerful instrument for projecting an evolving national identity. With this collection, drama in Fiji can finally take its rightful place along side poetry and prose as a response to and an expression of a Fiji that is multiracial, culturally diverse and enduring.

Professor Ian Gaskell has forged an enduring reference work. Dramatist, historians, political scientists, students and scholars of literature, as well as actors and entertainers will value this book. Soft cover, 510 pages. Published in 2001.

Black Messiah: A collection of short stories and a novella by Joseph C Veramu. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9820200466.Recommended retail price $15.

The author has many short stories and poems to his credit, published in the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. He has also written a children's book "The Shark," and a social commentary "Growing up in Fiji." Also check out Moving through the Streets, a novel by Joseph.

He is an English teacher by profession, and lives and works in Fiji. Soft cover, 188 pages. Published in 1989.

Celebration, The : Collection of Short Stories by Raymond Pillai. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9820202620. Recommended retail price $7.

Short stories written by this Fiji Indian include: A Case of Diabolical Possession, Brief Skirmish, Muni Deo's Devil, The Funeral, A Matter of Conscience, To Market, To Market, The Ass in Lion's Skin and more. Originally published in 1980. Soft cover, 111 pages. This edition published in 1991.

I Native No More by Jo Nacola. Recommended retail price $6.

Jo Nacola was born in Fiji. He was educated at Queen Victoria School and universities in New Zealand, where he graduated with an M.A. In 1971, he studied drama and theatre at the University of Exeter, England. At present he is a lecturer in English at the University of the South Pacific. This is his first collection of plays to be published. Soft cover, 42 pages.

Mocemoce, Na Vanua; The Land Abiding by Caitlin Scholl. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9789820203761. Recommended retail price $19.95
Within sight of a smart new resort near Savusavu on the Fijian island of Vanua Levu, over a period of twenty-four hours, local villagers work, love, laugh and parley their lives while interweaving their long-held traditions with contemporary practice.  In the same time and place, a visiting scientist notes and ponders the threatened environment, and a young girl seeks answers for her future from the people and from the ancient raintree, repository of universal wisdoms.

In this lyrical first novel, Caitlin Scholl, with echoes of the rhythms and resonance of Dylan Thomas’ classic Under Milk Wood, recreates the simple and complex, mundane and exotic, practical and philosophical realities of the lives of the permanent and passing inhabitants of a tropical island moving to the hypnotic ebb and flow of the Pacific Ocean within the growing swell of the world global.

New writer Caitlin Scholl studied creative writing with John Hopkins University and the University of Vermont, and has a degree in Environmental Studies from the latter institution.

In 2005 Caitlin spent four months in Fiji with the School of International Training, where she conducted cultural and environmental research that served as a basis for MOCEMOCE, NA VANUA.  Caitlin Scholl currently lives in Lake Placid, New York but, fascinated by the region, she hopes to return to the Pacific soon after completing her studies. Soft cover, 100 pages. Published in 2006.

Moving Through The Streets by Joseph C. Veramu. Recommended retail price $10.

Veramuís first novel, is about young people in Suva. Veramuís language is colloquial, realistic. The action is quick, the dialogue quicker still. The book offers insight into the life-styles, pressures, and temptations of teenagers in an urban environment. It also offers hope.

Joseph C Veramu is a Lecturer at The University of the South Pacific. He is author of Growing Up in Fiji, a social commentary on Fijian child rearing practices; The Black Messiah, a collection of short stories; and Letís Do it Our Way, a book about education and development. He has also written a childrenís story-book, The Shark, and he is editor of two collections of myths and legends, The Two Turtles and the Ungrateful Snake and The Snake Prince. Soft cover, 186 pages. Published in 1994.

Myths and Legends of Fiji & Rotuma (students edition) by A. W. Reed and Inez Hames. ISBN: 0 7900 0298 1. Recommended retail price $27.00.

The stories of Fiji are rich in drama, telling of gods and fabulous creatures, of islands built by supernatural powers, and of the creation of the birds, beasts and plants that inhabit the islands that make up the Fijian group. They are stories filled with humor and affection, conflict and jealousy.

A. W. Reed was an indefatigable collector of the myths and legends of the Pacific, and wrote and published numerous
books on these and related subjects. His collaborator on this volume, Inez Hames, was a long-time resident and teacher in Fiji, and many of these stories were first brought to her by pupils from distant islands. Soft cover, 127 pages, 9 black & white illustrations. Published in 1997.

Tales of a Lonely Island by Mesulama Titifanua and C. Maxwell Churchward. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 982020111X . Recommended retail price $13

Tales of a Lonely Island are Rotuman legends dictated by elders to Mesulama Titifanua, who wrote them down. C. Maxwell Churchward translated them into English, gave a brief introduction to Rotuman grammar and commented on the legends' historical and social significance. Rotuman and English readers alike will delight in the stories of a unique island and its culture. Soft cover, 127 pages. Published in 1995.

Two Plays by Vilsoni Hereniko. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 982020139X. Recommended retail price $14.

This volume contains two of Vilsoni Hereniko's best-known plays: A Child for Iva and Sera's Choice. The cover shows the cast for the first production of Sera's Choice in Suva, Fiji.

Vilsoni Hereniko is a scholar and playwright. Having taught at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji from 1985 to 1990, he moved in 1991 to Hawai'i where he is now Associate Professor of Pacific Studies at the University of Hawai'i. The two plays that appear here were written when Hereniko was living and teaching in Suva, Fiji. His other full-length plays include Last Virgin in Paradise (co-authored with Teresia Teaiwa) and Fine Dancing. His collection of one-act plays is published under the title The Monster and Other Plays. His published works also include short stories, children's books, essays and a monograph on clowning on his home island, Woven Gods: Female Clowns and Power in Rotuma. Soft cover, 155 pages. Published in 1998.

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