Patricia O’Brien. Wellington, Huia Publishers and University of Hawai’i Press, 2017.
399 pp., maps, illus., notes, bibliog.
Safua Akeli Amaama, Centre for Sāmoan Studies. National University of Sāmoa.
Tautai documents the life of Ta’isi Olaf Frederick Nelson (1883–1944), the son of Swedish migrant August Nelson and Sinagogo Masoe from Safune Savai’i. The dense biography has 14 chapters which cover the period from 1880s to 1944. As the first extensive biography on Ta’isi to date, according to the book cover, Tautai “is a powerful and passionate story that is both personal and one that encircles the globe.” Indeed Tautai provides a fascinating view of Sāmoa’s global history, and key historical figures during a tumultuous time. Throughout the book, the author has articulated a complex and nuanced narrative which brings to life Ta’isi, his family, Sāmoa and its multiple relationships abroad.