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It is important not just to celebrate the landscape of the islands but also their diverse cultural expressions of literary and cinematic traditions. Islands all over the world are the birthplaces of established literary giants, such as Poet Laureate Derek Walcott (St. Lucia), V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad), Jean Rhys (Dominica), and the unknown authors of the Icelandic sagas. Writers and film-makers from island territories present stories that are poignant and authentic, and their voices and visions have come to represent ingenuity and resilience. Here we have selected a variety of literary and cinematic works that indelibly shape the narrative of island territories, and celebrate a sense of identity, empowerment, and creative prowess.


The Dew Breaker

by Edwidge Danticat

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

by Cherie Jones

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

by Junot Diaz
(Dominican Republic)

A Brief History of Seven Killings

by Marlon James

The Greenhouse

by Audur Ava Ólafsdóttir

Language of the Geckos and Other Stories

by Gary Pak

Patron Saints of Nothing

by Randy Ribay

The Astonishing Colour of After

by Emily X.R. Pan

The Confessions and Other Stories

by Julian Maka’a
(Solomon Islands)

By the Sea

by Abdulrazak Gurnah


by George Mackay Brown
(Orkney Islands)


The Land Has Eyes

Directed by Vilsoni Hereniko

The Salt in Our Waters

Directed by Rezwan Shahriar Sumit

Whale Rider

Directed by Niki Caro
(New Zealand)

Vai – A Tribute to the Indigenous Women of the Pacific Islands

Directed by various directors
(Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga)

The Sweetest Mango

Directed by Howard Allen
(Antigua and Barbuda)


Directed by Anderson Quarless

These selections serve to explore the vivid diversity of island culture, while highlighting universal themes, and we hope that this list inspires you to delve into the film and literature of the islands. What are some of your favourite books and films that you would like to share with us? Let us know in the comments!

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