Figiel, S. (1999). Where we once belonged. New York, NY: Kaya.
The first time a novel by a Samoan woman has been published in the United States. Figiel uses the traditional Samoan storytelling form of su'ifefiloi to talk back to Western anthropological studies on Samoan women and culture. Told in a series of linked episodes, this powerful and highly original narrative follows thirteen-year-old Alofa Filiga as she navigates the mores and restrictions of her village and comes to terms with her own search for identity. A story of Samoan PUBERTY BLUES, in which Gauguin is dead but Elvis lives on -- Vogue Australia. A storytelling triumph -- Elle Australia
Sia Figiel grew up amidst traditional Samoan singing and poetry, which heavily influenced her writing. Figiel's greatest influence and inspiration in her career is the Samoan novelist and poet, Albert Wendt. Her formal schooling was conducted in Samoa
and New Zealand where she also began a Bachelor of Arts, which was later completed at Whitworth College
(United States). She has travelled in Europe and completed writers' residencies at the University of the South Pacific
, and the University of Technology, Sydney
. Unfortunately, Sia Figel lost both parents to complications with diabetes
. She too was diagnosed with diabetes
13 years ago.
1997 Commonwealth Writers' Prize
for fiction, South East Asia/South Pacific region