Dr O'Brien and students from Leifiifi College at the SSAB book signing event.

22 August, 2017. Samoa – Dr. Patricia O’Brien, author of the book, TAUTAI hopes for a movie to be made out of the book that has “has taken her around the world”.

Dr. O’Brien was speaking at a book signing event hosted by Samoa Stationery and Books (SSAB) for students from 10 local high schools.

“I’m hoping someone will want to make it a movie. If any of you are interested in acting, it would be a good opportunity for you to play some of the characters, such as a young Ta’isi.”

According to Dr. O’Brien, her first choice would be Samoan Actor, Seiuli Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

“I’d like Dwayne Johnson to play Ta’isi, but the first thing is to try and get a book to him, and somehow get him to read it,” she added with a smile.

The historian and author had valuable words of advice for the youth in attendance. According to Dr. O’Brien, Ta’isi Nelson deeply valued education, even though he could only attend school until the age of 13, he continued to learn and develop the skills he did have, eventually becoming the “greatest business man in Samoa and the Pacific”.

Dr O’Brien encouraged the students to “pursue their dreams”. She said, “From a young age, I was always a lover of books. I loved to read pieces of information and evidence to piece a story together. I thought it was fun…like being a detective.”

“I know that not everyone will want to write a history book, but as the future leaders of Samoa, you can learn from Ta’isi and his story. He pursued his dreams, and even died with that dream of having an independent Samoa.”

Also present at the book signing was Papalii Dr. Viopapa Annandale Atherton, granddaughter of Ta’isi Nelson who shared a few early memories of her grandfather.

With tears in her eyes, Papalii said, “I think I was about four years old, and I remember my mother and my aunties would take turns visiting grandpa to take care of him up at Tuaefu. He was unwell at that time, he had been sick but he always made time to see all his grandchildren.”

According to Papalii, her grandfather, Ta’isi Nelson, was a loving, caring father and grandfather, who dearly valued his grandchildren.

“I remember grandpa was a big, tall man, with a big stomach.  He would even let the youngest grandchildren jump up and down on his stomach. I can remember saying ‘Wow! I really like jumping up on Papa’s stomach.’” she added with a smile.

Dr Viopapa Annandale, Dr O’Brien and her son, at the SSAB Book signing for schools.


After bombarding Dr. O’Brien with questions, the students enjoyed afternoon refreshments as teachers and Principal’s waited in line for a signed copy of TAUTAI. Many students took the time to take photos with Dr. O’Brien.

Copies of TAUTAI can be purchased at any of SSAB’s branches.

Shivani Sharma

Shivani Sharma

Born in the USA, raised in the Middle East and the Pacific. Moved to Samoa as a teenager and graduated from RLSS. Avid writer. Mother of 4 beautiful children.
Reporter with Samoa Planet.
Shivani Sharma

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