Journal Article

Talking Back, Fast, and Beyond: Selina Tusitala Marsh’s Poetry and the Performance of Pasifika Identities

Paloma Fresno-Calleja

in Contemporary Women's Writing

Volume 8, issue 3, pages 354-372
Published in print November 2014 | ISSN: 1754-1476
Published online May 2014 | e-ISSN: 1754-1484 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cww/vpu004
Talking Back, Fast, and Beyond: Selina Tusitala Marsh’s Poetry and the Performance of Pasifika Identities

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This article analyzes Selina Tusitala Marsh’s first poetry collection, Fast Talking PI, paying attention to both its counter-discursive and performative strategies. I argue that Marsh revises the postcolonial “writing back” paradigm in two main ways. Firstly, she contests Western representations of Pacific female identities, continuing the task started by the first generation of Pacific women writers, but adapting her contestation to identitary debates affecting the Pacific community in contemporary New Zealand. Secondly, Marsh conceives her poetry as a tool to “talk back”, prioritizing the performative quality of her work in line with the oral traditions that inform it and the theatrical nature of cultural encounters and representations in the post/colonial Pacific.

Journal Article.  8272 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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