Political Life Writing in the Pacific

Political Life Writing in the Pacific

Reflections on Practice

Edited by: Jack Corbett, Brij V. Lal

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This book aims to reflect on the experiential side of writing political lives in the Pacific region. The collection touches on aspects of the life writing art that are particularly pertinent to political figures: public perception and ideology; identifying important political successes and policy initiatives; grappling with issues like corruption and age-old political science questions about leadership and ‘dirty hands’. These are general themes but they take on a particular significance in the Pacific context and so the contributions explore these themes in relation to patterns of colonisation and the memory of independence; issues elliptically captured by terms like ‘culture’ and ‘tradition’; the nature of ‘self’ presented in Pacific life writing; and the tendency for many of these texts to be written by ‘outsiders’, or at least the increasingly contested nature of what that term means.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Jul 2015
ANU Press
State, Society and Governance in Melanesia
Arts & Humanities: Biography & Autobiography, Cultural Studies; Social Sciences: Politics & International Studies
Pacific: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Zealand

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Political Life Writing in the Pacific »

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  1. Practising Political Life Writing in the Pacific (PDF, 118KB) – Jack Corbett doi
  2. Political Life Writing in Papua New Guinea (PDF, 208KB) – Jonathan Ritchie doi
  3. Understanding Solomon (PDF, 193KB) – Christopher Chevalier doi
  4. The ‘Pawa Meri’ Project (PDF, 150KB) – Ceridwen Spark doi
  5. ‘End of a Phase of History’ (PDF, 165KB) – Brij V. Lal doi
  6. Random Thoughts of an Occasional Practitioner (PDF, 102KB) – Deryck Scarr doi
  7. Walking the Line between Anga Fakatonga and Anga Fakapalangi (PDF, 192KB) – Areti Metuamate doi
  8. Writing Influential Lives (PDF, 129KB) – Nicole Haley doi
  9. Celebrating My Journey (PDF, 139KB) – Sethy Regenvanu doi
  10. Reflections on A Remarkable Journey (PDF, 147KB) – Carol Kidu doi
  11. Solomon Islands’ Biography (PDF, 164KB) – Clive Moore doi
  12. Biographies of Post-1900 New Zealand Prime Ministers (PDF, 232KB) – Doug Munro doi


Political Life Writing in the Pacific is an important follow up to the 2008 publication Telling Pacific Lives: Prisms of Process, also coedited by Lal and published by ANU Press. Together the two volumes carve out a remarkable, complementary discussion of authorship, voice, the function and politics of political writing.

—Alexander Mawyer, Biography, Vol 41(3), 2018

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