Winner of the 1997 Asia/Pacific Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for fiction. In Where We Once Belonged Sia Figiel uses the storytelling traditions of Samoa to weave together experiences and dreams to tell the story of Samoan village life through the eyes of thirteen year old Alofa Filiga. It is spirited and fiercely written. Where We Once Belonged is an unflinchingly honest, poetic and often wildly funny coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of 1970s Samoa — a society on the cusp of change. As Alofa navigates the mores and restrictions of village life, she begins to come to terms with her own changing identity and the price she must pay for it. Sia Figiel evokes the delights and the pain of adolescence and of a culture caught between the past and the future.