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Two new books from the prolific keyboard of Marlene Potoura

Emotionally FamishedPHIL FITZPATRICK

Emotionally Famished by Marlene Dee Gray Potoura, Pukpuk Publications, 2016, 123 pages, ISBN: 978-1535268714, US$6.03 plus postage from Amazon Books.

My Brother Warrollu by Marlene Dee Gray Potoura, Pukpuk Publications, 2016, 134 pages, ISBN: 978-1535268738, US$6.33 plus postage from Amazon Books.

AMONG the final new Pukpuk Publications books for this year are two by one of my favourite Papua New Guinean writers, the prolific Marlene Dee Gray Potoura.

One is a second book of 21 short stories and the other is the first in a series of books for children, something we must pay more attention to in 2017.

Marlene’s stories have always landed on the short list for the Crocodile Prize but she has always been pipped at the post by something else that catches the judge’s eyes.

This hasn’t stopped her powering ahead with her quirky, humorous and very human stories and this second collection will not disappoint her fans.

Some of the stories will be remembered from when they appeared on PNG Attitude and some are brand new.

My Brother WarrolluHer new children’s book is reminiscent of those wonderful (and politically incorrect) stories by writers such as Enid Blyton in the 1950s. It also helps fill a small space in the enormous void of good writing available to children in Papua New Guinea.

As a qualified teacher who runs her own Sylbeez Hive Learning Centre in Lae, Marlene is well aware of the sorts of books that appeal to younger people in Papua New Guinea.

Consequently there is none of the condescension frequently found in the works of non-national authors writing for Papua New Guinean children in Marlene’s stories. Her children’s book is based on the adventures of her little brother.

Marlene is from the beautiful Orian valley in the south of Bougainville.  She says, “I had a little brother, Sahoau who was always doing 'stuff' (building huts, gardening, hunting, fishing etc) when he was growing up.

"He was always exploring and going about our bushlands with his side kick, our cousin Caleb. 

"Warrollu in my Oria language is a name given to children who 'do all sorts of childhood play, resulting in humorous outcomes, but preparing them for adulthood’s serious chores’. I love writing for children.”

In both books Marlene has been ably assisted by editorial advice from Ed Brumby and both books are a tribute to their skills and diligence.


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Marlene Dee

Thank you my Writer friends for your congratulatory messages. May we all write to live. I wish you all well in your writing endeavours.

Rashmii Bell

Congratulations on both books, Marlene!

John K Kamasua

Well done!

Francis Nii

Congratulations Marlene.

Dominica Are

Congratulations Marlene! Will surely grab myself copies of the books. You're an inspiration.

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