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Sons for the Return Home

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Samoan-born Albert Wendt was working as a teacher in Samoa when he wrote the autobiographical Sons for the Return Home, first published in 1973. It is the story of a cross-racial romance between a Samoan student at Auckland University, the son of migrant parents, and the daughter of a wealthy palagi family. It was an instant bestseller and was later made into a successful ...more
Paperback, 217 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by University of Hawaii Press (first published 1973)
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Elizabeth Weltin
Jan 26, 2009 Elizabeth Weltin rated it it was amazing
This is a well written book from an interesting view point-a Samoan man raised in New Zealand returning with his family to Samoa. It was written in the 70s but the topic is still completely relevant to today. I have been living in American Samoa for the past two years and think Part 3 should be mandatory reading for anyone thinking of expating to Samoa.
Mar 28, 2010 Robyn rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I kept forgetting that this book was written in the '70s. It reads very current.
Feb 06, 2016 Laura added it
I have mixed feelings about this book. for starters, I knew of Albert Wendts literary status among the Pacific community long before I read any of his work (this being my first) and I felt this default need of having to like his stuff. I wanted to like it before I tried it. which is a weird prejudice...
i don't know what I expected but for the lost part, I was disappointed. I felt that he third person narration didn't contain Free Indirect Discourse so much as it was wholly F.I.D. It was an uncom
Mar 19, 2013 Jamztoma rated it really liked it
I personally call Albert Wendt the King of Samoan Literature and it does justice to a writer I've recognized for most of my childhood and now into my adulthood years. I first heard of this writer because his books were being sold at Transpac in American Samoa for these high prices and I would often be curious as to what lies behind the plain front cover to make them so expensive. (Little did I know that it was common among Indie writers across the world.) Okay so it was my Senior English teacher ...more
Sally Tarbox
"In exile you acquired the gift he had - the gift, the curse that stops you from belonging to anybody or anything", July 19, 2015
sally tarbox

This review is from: Sons for the Return Home (Kindle Edition)
The story of a Samoan boy growing up in 60s/ 70s New Zealand. At university he begins dating a well-to-do white girl, but both find difficulties in a mixed-race relationship. Her friends show casual contempt for an 'Islander', but she too feels alien at an all-Samoan social event:
' "They all
Malcolm F. Cross
Mar 29, 2014 Malcolm F. Cross rated it really liked it
Beautiful piece of work. First and foremost, it's a love story, and not one that pulls punches when it comes to flesh's role in affairs of the heart. The writing style is a little unconventional to my eye, but if it's something that can be accepted for what it is, it provides a remarkable poetry to the work. It's a strong book about loves won and lost, and family dramas surrounding that. Also, it's been acclaimed as being a landmark work of Samoan literature -- this is very, very true, but risks ...more
Jun 18, 2013 zespri rated it really liked it
Fast forward to 2013 and the author of this little book is a celebrated New Zealand author recently appointed a member of the Order of New Zealand, the highest award available to New Zealanders. But in 1973 when this book was published, Albert Wendt was a young Samoan author with the dubious honour of being the first published Samoan in New Zealand.

Sons for the Return Home is a simple but beautiful story, written in simple sparse language. The two main characters are referred to as "he" and "she
Nov 25, 2013 Sandi rated it really liked it
I read "Sons for the Return Home" for one of my English Course which focuses on "indigenous" novels that receive global recognition. My knowledge on Albert Wendt was minimal , but this novel has exceed far beyond my expectations. The interchange between the "son" and the "father" narrative reflects on assimilation new cultures versus holding onto traditional cultures,the feeling of displacement and issues of assimilation skewers the main character's perception on his experiences and the constant ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Kato rated it it was amazing
Nov 08, 2007 Liz rated it liked it
There is a bit of a cultural road block for some to like it (i.e. if you're not familiar with Samoan culture, some things are hard to understand). However, it does help one delve into the psyche of a pacific islander trying to find one's place in a world that keeps one separated from their cultural roots.
Gillian Torckler
Oct 24, 2013 Gillian Torckler rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. It was captivating from the outset. The only issue was I had an e book versions this a few typos, but not that you couldn't work out what they were. Highly recommended. I was also in Apia at the time of reading it, which I think made it really poignant.
Leia Penina
Oct 24, 2015 Leia Penina rated it liked it
Fun book re: cultural memory.
Aug 04, 2013 Nova rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must have read this book years ago as some of the passages were very familiar. Enlightening enjoyable read, even 2nd time around.
Dec 14, 2009 P rated it it was amazing
Will review this in detail later, but I loved it!
Mar 27, 2013 Mechelins rated it it was amazing
Great book
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Albert Wendt was born in Apia, Samoa.
Wendt's epic Leaves of the Banyan Tree (1979) won the 1980 New Zealand Book Awards. He was appointed to the first chair in Pacific literature at the University of the South Pacific in Suva. In 1988 he took up a professorship of Pacific studies at the University of Auckland. In 1999 Wendt was visiting Professor of Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of
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