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.