Leaves of the Banyan Tree

Leaves of the Banyan Tree An epic spanning three generations Leaves of the Banyan Tree tells the story of a family and community in Western Samoa exploring on a grand scale such universal themes as greed corruption colonia

  • Title: Leaves of the Banyan Tree
  • Author: Albert Wendt
  • ISBN: 9780824815844
  • Page: 347
  • Format: Paperback
  • An epic spanning three generations, Leaves of the Banyan Tree tells the story of a family and community in Western Samoa, exploring on a grand scale such universal themes as greed, corruption, colonialism, exploitation, and revenge Winner of the 1980 New Zealand Wattie Book of the Year Award, it is considered a classic work of Pacific literature.

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      Published :2020-011-16T06:04:17+00:00

    About “Albert Wendt”

    1. Albert Wendt

      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 Hawaii In 2001 he was made Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to literature In the 2013 Queen s Birthday Honours he was appointed a member of the Order of New Zealand.

    385 thoughts on “Leaves of the Banyan Tree”

    1. I think the blurb gives a pretty good idea of what kind of book this is:An epic spanning three generations, Leaves of the Banyan Tree tells the story of a family and community in Western Samoa, exploring on a grand scale such universal themes as greed, corruption, colonialism, exploitation, and revenge. Winner of the 1980 New Zealand Wattie Book of the Year Award, it is considered a classic work of Pacific literature.It is, in other words, a Big Novel about Important Things. And although it occa [...]


    2. Set in Samoa and spanning three generations, I was eagerly looking forward to my first Samoan read. While the book provides an interesting look into the culture, history and life in Samoa, I'm sad to say I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. The writing didn't captivate or engage me and I found my mind wandering and having to consciously pull myself back into the story. Tauilopepe is the central character in the book and is driven by the need for power and money alienating many, [...]


    3. The author Albert Wendt was born in Apia, Samoa, and wrote several books drawing on his knowledge of island life. The title story is a slow paced family saga about three generations and the history of post-colonialism. At the time (Western) Samoa was administered by New Zealand, but their hand rested lightly. The store owner who controls the copra trade is a native Samoan, not a representative of a foreign multinational company. Tauilopepe, the plantation owner who cuts down the native forest to [...]


    4. So I finally got myself to a library and read this book, widely known now as a modern classic of Pacific Literature. It's about this seriously ambitious man, Tauilopepe, who decides that he's going to turn his family's matai land into a business - just like the Palagis do with their plantations. In his unfaltering drive for money and power, he betrays all the people who love him, loses his children - his only beloved son, even, rebels against him in a massive way - and spends the rest of his lif [...]


    5. This is one of my top five favorite books. It takes place in Samoa. It is fiction. I went to Samoa and had some ugly realizations about the long-term effects of imperialism/colonialism. Instead of committing genocide and rounding up the citizens of Samoa onto reservations (which there is no space for), the imperial powers dominated the culture using religion. The book is not directly about that, I had extra appreciation for the conquer-through-religion layer in the landscape of the book and its [...]


    6. I read this a few summers ago and cannot believe I failed to write a review of it. The result is that my summary will be short. It takes you to another place. Invites you inside of another culture. And shows you what happens to a culture when the impulse of material acquisition is allowed expression. A year and a half later, the novel still has me in its grips. Powerful, beautiful, and haunting. A great book from a masterful writer.


    7. This is quite a story. Three books blend into one, and the family stories are carried through from one to another. The narrative is rich and dense, and ideas and words fill the pages. This is the story of three generations of a family in Samoa, and the family and its relation to the surrounding community within which it finds itself. It is really a sad and tragic story, the patriach of the family chooses wealth and position repeatedly over the well- being of his own family, and the consequences [...]


    8. This book was my introduction to Pacific Literature. Great development of characters and the underlying message is relayed. I loved this story of greed, love, and loss.


    9. A fascinating insight into Samoa across three generations of a family. Set in 1900-1970ish, Tauilopepe is the central character. He is the headman of his aiga and wants to be the most powerful man in his village. He is seriously ambitious and as his fortunes rise, he moves further away from his culture to reward himself with a big house, a flushing toilet, whisky, and the ability to send his sons to Western schools.This is a book about greed, misuse of power, the use of religion to influence peo [...]


    10. This is a book of raw power. The characters in it are all giants. They are stark and energetic people, who move only with grand gestures. Wendt’s novel is an attempt at a Pacific epic, that will tell the origin of modern Samoa. Tauilopepe, Pepe, Masina, Lupe, Taifau, Galupo, Filipo, Ashton, and most of all Toasa are his mythical heroes, whose deeds create a new world and a new people.It is a terribly sad story of material prosperity and spiritual decline. Wendt has a tragic vision of history. [...]


    11. Although this is apparently considered one of the classics of South Pacific literature, I hadn't heard of it before a reading challenge forced me to dig out a selection from this region. I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised. It's a generation-spanning epic that remains an exploration of distinctly Samoan experiences while tapping into universal issues like pride, betrayal and the frustration of fighting against a class system that will never let you win.The writing makes little effort t [...]


    12. This is the greatest novel you have never heard of. Set in Samoa, Leave of the Banyan tree follows three generations and deals with family, masculinity, religion, and "progress." When the author started into the progress motif, I was afraid it would turn into another noble savages type novel. Instead, I finished, and kept contemplating what exactly the author was trying to say. Who was good, and who was evil? What was the right path? How much can a nation's goals be separated from that of a fami [...]


    13. Esta historia del crecimiento de un pueblo samoano a través de tres generaciones logra abarcar todos los tópicos usuales y necesarios de una era postcolonial sin perder nunca el interés en la humanidad corrompida y ambigua de sus personajes. Quizás el final sea su punto más debatible.


    14. "The vanity in each of us makes us beasts of prey upon each other and all other living creatures. We must heal ourselves, destroy our self-love. If we do not we will continue to excrete our own self-destruction. We are capable of so much beauty." ~Toasa (p 241)Fathers and Sons, fa'a Samoa.


    15. there are some cool parts in this book but also too many of the other kind, and the writing just isn't that great.


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