Fire up Synaptic and you will find some excellent alternative suites. Make sure you have the Universe and Multiverse repositories before you begin, as described in Chapter 8.
The first package I point out is KWord, and it is part of KOffice, the KDE office suite. KWord is light, fast, and should you choose to run KDE, nicely integrated into the desktop.
The second package I direct you to is Abiword. This one is available for several platforms including Linux, Windows, and even BeOS. Like KWord, Abiword is light and fast, a great alternative for those running on more modest hardware.