Tales of the Tiko

Epeli Hau'ofa, Author Penguin Books $4.5 (93p) ISBN 978-0-14-010219-2
Hau'ofa (Kisses in the Nederends) serves up a delightfully fresh and funny collection of tales about his South Pacific homeland. In this first book of stories, he wryly describes daily life on the tiny isle of Tiko where ``truth is flexible and can be bent this way so and that way so.'' The book contains comic, well-developed characters like Ti Pilo Simini (in ``The Wages of Sin''), a ``weedy little man . . . who may be seen with two or even three cigarettes stuck between his lips,'' but Hau'ofa's talent is most evident in his satires of human frailties. In ``Blessed Are the Meek,'' Puku Leka receives ``excellent training in bowing and bending and crawling'' from his family in preparation for a farmer's life. Hau'ofa also skillfully parodies the ``development'' of underdeveloped countries. In ``The Seventh and Other Days,'' an Australian ``Overseas Expert'' named Dolittle is hired to ``look into the feasibility of making Tikongs work on weekdays'' but despairs after speaking with a VIP who fritters away the office hours playing cards with his secretary. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
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