Indigenous Literatures from Micronesia


Hardback: $90.00
ISBN-13: 9780824875411
Published: April 2019
Paperback: $30.00
ISBN-13: 9780824877460
Published: April 2019

Additional Information

384 pages | 7 maps
  • About the Book
  • For the first time, poetry, short stories, critical and creative essays, chants, and excerpts of plays by Indigenous Micronesian authors have been brought together to form a resounding—and distinctly Micronesian—voice. With over two thousand islands spread across almost three million square miles of the Pacific Ocean, Micronesia and its peoples have too often been rendered invisible and insignificant both in and out of academia. This long-awaited anthology of contemporary indigenous literature will reshape Micronesia’s historical and literary landscape.

    Presenting over seventy authors and one hundred pieces, Indigenous Literatures from Micronesia features nine of the thirteen basic language groups, including Palauan, Chamorro, Chuukese, I-Kiribati, Kosraean, Marshallese, Nauruan, Pohnpeian, and Yapese. The volume editors, from Micronesia themselves, have selected representative works from throughout the region—from Palau in the west, to Kiribati in the east, to the global diaspora. They have reached back for historically groundbreaking work and scouted the present for some of the most cited and provocative of published pieces and for the most promising new authors.

    Richly diverse, the stories of Micronesia’s resilient peoples are as vast as the sea and as deep as the Mariana Trench. Challenging centuries-old reductive representations, writers passionately explore seven complex themes: “Origins” explores creation, foundational, and ancestral stories; “Resistance” responds to colonialism and militarism; “Remembering” captures diverse memories and experiences; “Identities” articulates the nuances of culture; “Voyages” maps migration and diaspora; “Family” delves into interpersonal and community relationships; and “New Micronesia” gathers experimental, liminal, and cutting-edge voices.

    This anthology reflects a worldview unique to the islands of Micronesia, yet it also connects to broader issues facing Pacific Islanders and indigenous peoples throughout the world. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Pacific, indigenous, diasporic, postcolonial, and environmental studies and literatures.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Evelyn Flores, Editor

      Evelyn Flores is associate professor of literature at the University of Guam focusing on post/counter-colonial studies, Native and women’s studies, and Pacific Island literatures.
    • Emelihter Kihleng, Editor

      Emelihter Kihleng is a poet and author. She has held academic and other professional positions in Pohnpei, Guam, Hawai‘i, and New Zealand, and is a curatorial research fellow at the MARKK, Museum am Rothenbaum in Hamburg, Germany.
    • Craig Santos Perez, Series Editor

      Craig Santos Perez is professor in the English department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • A much-needed and timely collection. This volume not only provides a comprehensive overview of the literature and art of a region that long has been underrepresented, but gives voice to the beauty, diversity, and power that has developed and strengthened these islands’ cultural legacies through their dynamic interactions with both the region and the world. This should be required reading, not just for Pacific literature but all literature courses interested in the ways that local knowledges engage global currents.
      —Erin Suzuki, University of California, San Diego
    • Indigenous Literatures from Micronesia is a potent lyrical lamentation from over two thousand islands in the vast Northern Pacific. In this inaugural volume of the New Oceania Literary Series . . . islanders address centuries of still-festering wounds inflicted on their atolls by the world. The authors write to uncolonize themselves, paddling to stay afloat in rising water that’s been globally warmed and radiated. They splash rightfully outraged ink all over these pages. Here are tales from inside the reef, from atolls that remember the past and islands that fear the future. . . . The entire volume is a literary manifesto—a symbolic Belauan storyboard, Marshallese stick navigation chart, Pohnpeian urohs skirt, CHamoru creation myth, or Yapese rai stone.
      —Lanie Tankard, The Woven Tale Press
    • The value of this collection is immeasurable, for both Micronesian readers and others. The need to find oneself and one’s culture represented in literature in the face of overwhelming cultural imperialism and Westernization, what coeditor Evelyn Flores (Univ. of Guam) refers to as a “recovery and assertion process,” cannot be overstated. And it is past time for non-Micronesians to pay attention to these important voices.
      —CHOICE, December 2019 (Vol. 57 No. 4)
  • Supporting Resources