Girl in the Moon Circle

January 6th, 2011 by Jsohnel Pacarro

The Girl in the Moon Circle, like the cover drawing, shows Samoan life through the eyes of a ten-year-old girl called Samoana. Though young, Samoana is perceptive, not much escapes her analysis. She tells us about school, church, friends, family violence, having refrigerators and television for the first time, Chunky cat food, a Made-in-Taiwan, Jesus, pay day, cricket, crushes on boys, incest, legends and many other things. Her observations offer a compelling look at Samoan society. Often fiction allows authors to tell truths that otherwise would be too painful; Sia Figiel is uninhibited. Her prose, in English and Samoan, hurtles readers toward the end of the book. Sia Figiel, herself, has mesmerized audiences around the Pacific Islands with readings from The Girl in the Moon Circle.

About the Author

Sia Figiel was born in the village of Matautu Tai, Western Samoa, to a Samoan mother and a Polish-American father. Her primary education was acquired through Sunday school, the Pastor’s school, fagogo tellers, the faleaitu (the house of spirits) and St Mary’s schools in Western Samoa. She completed high school in Auckland, New Zealand, and earned a BA in history from Whitworth College, USA.

After tutoring in Samoa, she went to Germany and lived in Berlin, travelling also between Western and Eastern Europe. A performance-poet and a painter, she has read, exhibited, performed and discussed her work in galleries and universities in Germany and the Pacific Islands. Sia Figiel is the winner of the Polynesian Literary Competition 1994. She is the author of a novel, where we once belonged, published by Pasifika Press also in 1996. The Girl in the Moon Circle is her second work of imaginative fiction. She teaches creative writing, Samoan dance, song and story-telling in schools in American Samoa. Sia Figiel also works as a reporter.

“Daffodils” (1804)

I WANDER’D lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretch’d in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

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