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September 27 , 2010

Out of the Vaipe, the Deadwater

A Writer’s Early Life


‘The Vaipe has the Roman Catholic Cathedral at its western boundary, the court and police station to the east, the market and harbour in front, and the swamps behind it. These are convenient boundaries that I’ve turned into a symbolic fence for the marvellous world of the Deadwater.’Albert Wendt crosses into new and deeply personal territory in this stirring BWB Text. Returning to his boyhood in the Vaipe, a suburb of Apia in Samoa, sees Wendt confront elemental questions: Is the Vaipe he has created in his stories, poetry and novels really the Vaipe that existed and exists in real life? Or is it real only in his books? Is there a dierence between the two? And does it matter? The responses form a vivid narrative that draws on a life of award-winning writing, and returns full circle to the symbolic world of the Deadwater.

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