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Merle

Merle

Tales of the Tikongs by Epeli Hau'ofa

Tales of the Tikongs - Epeli Hau'ofa

Though a very slim volume, this book contains 12 short stories set in a fictional Pacific island nation that most readers assume to be an analogue for Tonga, the author’s home country. These stories satirize the government, religion, the foreign aid apparatus and aspects of the culture, following island men through various misadventures.

 

The stories are well-written and enjoyable, and even a reader without personal knowledge of the Pacific can easily grasp the aspects of island life that the author skewers. It seems to be an incisive work and would likely be an entertaining (if a bit painful) read for someone from the area. The stories are too short to provide for much character development, and because a week after finishing the book, not much stands out to me. But I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in Pacific literature.