Aching for Mango Friends

Jacinta S. Galea'i was born in American Samoa and grew up in the Pacific Northwest and Samoa. She received her B.A. from the University of Washington, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Hawai?i at M?noa. Currently, she directs the University of Hawai?i at M?noa's GEAR UP Project, which aims to improve the college-bound rates of under-represented students in Hawai?i. Her work can be found in Chain, Bamboo Ridge, Tinfish, and Women Writing Oceania: Weaving the Sails of Waka.


Aching for Mango Friends
by Jacinta Galea’i • 2006 • $10
Design by Yoko Hattori


Jacinta Galea’i has written a ‘novel’ that is also a sequence of ‘poems’, calling her genres into question at every turn. She has written a book in English and Samoan, one that straddles, with equal courage and precision, geographic, linguistic, and cultural boundaries. Aching for Mango Friends offers up a part of this (as yet unpublished) novel/poem to readers interested in experimental writing, writing from the Pacific, and intersections between Samoa and the USA.

from “Grandma’s Corner”:

Our airplane is in the air now, leaving Pago Pago International Airport, flying over the pua tree next to our blue house, where Fale, John, and Mataio play lakapi Amerika and where my father will preach to people wearing pajamas inside the Lyndon, B. Johnson Hospital Chapel next Sunday. The airplane is flying higher now, so I cannot see Pele who had water in her eyes when I told her I was returning to the place in America I had left three years earlier when I first met her under the mango tree.