‘Leaves of the Banyan Tree’ by Albert Wendt
Albert Wendt is a legend among Pacific writers. His books are either very good or excellent. ‘Leaves of the Banyan Tree’ belongs to the latter category.
This beautifully written family saga tells the story of Tauilopepe Mauga and his aiga. Living in mid-century Western Samoa, they struggle to combine traditional values of their ancestors and the papalagi way of being.
This novel is definitely one of Albert Wendt’s best works. It’s engaging. It’s rich in both style and substance. It’s emotionally and mentally challenging. But most importantly, it presents a theme that is as true now as it was then.