Of Masks and Meanings
Me & Francis

Francis Nii tribute book is well underway

Francis Nii
Francis Nii - Not only a literary craftsman but a writer who understood the business of writing


NOOSA – It’s always great to be able to thank PNG Attitude readers for offering a helping hand when you respond generously to a significant project we’re getting our teeth into.

Right now, the project is the publication of The Francis Nii Collection, a tribute volume to the late paraplegic author and literary leader who died in Kundiawa a little over two weeks ago.

We’ve already made considerable progress on getting this book together and are delighted that so far readers have donated more than $5,000 to underwrite its production, printing and distribution.

By far the greatest cost will be printing and distribution, since the editorial, design and layout processes are all being provided free of charge, for which we are extremely grateful.

The book will be distributed without cost to selected universities, schools, the Simbu Writers Association and other worthy institutions and individuals in Papua New Guinea – as well as to those kind readers who have donated funds for its production.

We’re still looking for donations from readers, so if you can spare a few dollars send them our way. They will be use to print and distribute more books.

And we’ll make sure donors are sent a free copy so, if you’ve been good enough to deposit funds directly into our account but we don’t have your email address, email me here at [email protected] with your postal address so we can send you your own copy of The Francis Nii Collection when it’s published in a couple of months time.

It is being put together by a joint group of Papua New Guinean and Australian writers and is looking like it will come home at about 300 pages including a rich treasure trove of Francis Nii’s stunning essays, commentaries and poetry, the story of his early years at university when he first showed his writing talent, the shocking account of the car accident that wrecked his body and its dreadful aftermath, and appraisals by his peers of his work and life as a literary leader.

The main body of the content is more than 100 of Francis's articles and poems arranged into themes such as politics, corruption, society, writing, disability, culture and PNG's relationship with Australia.

The book will be replete with photographs and end papers including a chronology of Francis's main life events, an annotated bibliography of his books and the story of and public reactions to his death.

Francis was not only a literary craftsman, he was a writer who understood the business of writing - including its administrative and technical complexities.

And from his hospital bed he expanded his knowledge of how PNG could build a home-grown written literature and use it to develop its culture, education and sense of nationhood.

It was this challenge that was occupying his mind when he died, tapping out final emails to his colleagues, aware that his days were numbered surrounded by the cacophony and trauma of an under-resourced hospital.

Francis has left a legacy of intelligence, wisdom and creative energy which is what we have sought to preserve in The Francis Nii Collection.

So if you enjoy PNG Attitude, have appreciated Francis Nii's writing or are simply a supporter of PNG  home-grown literature. a donation to this project is one way you can show your appreciation. 

Bank details are: Transfers to Keith Jackson / NAB / BSB 082-302 / Account 50650-1355


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