NOOSA – The production of ‘Man Bilong Buk’ – the tribute volume to the life and achievements of the late Francis Nii – was completed within two months of his death on 2 August and is already available as a downloadable book here.
As usual with PNG Attitude projects, the production of this 320-page book has been a team effort involving Francis’s family and friends, fellow writers, who offer their assessments of Francis’s impact on Papua New Guinea literature, and many of our readers who donated funds to enable the books to be distributed free of cost to PNG.
Unfortunately for us, over recent times Amazon has hiked its printing charges and, after postage is added, ‘Man Bilong Buk’ costs about $65 to deliver. Just a couple of years ago this would have been $25.
In practical terms this means we have to be selective in who gets free copies. Francis’s family, his comrades in the Simbu Writers Association and some eminent PNG writers who were his colleagues are on top of the list.
But we have not been able to raise sufficient funds to meet our goal of offering a wider distribution to institutions in PNG.
Donations from PNG Attitude readers raised more than $6,000 to get the book published. A fine effort and, as usual, I thank those people for their generosity and commitment to the cause of sustaining a home-grown PNG literature.
We’re also hampered in Amazon’s apparent decision not to mail books from its Australian and United States operations to Papua New Guinea.
I’ve developed a work around for this but it requires double-handling, more time and more money.
The free and donor distributions are likely to arrive at your doorstep in late October or November.
We’ll be interested to hear what you think about it.
In addition to republishing a great collection of Francis’s best writing, the book includes pieces by Daniel Kumbon, Phil Fitzpatrick, Michael Dom, Ben Jackson, Jimmy Drekore and other writers well-known in PNG.
There is also a special section on Francis’s last few months contributed by his youngest daughter Charlene, his great friend and fellow writer Mathias Kin and me.
And, if you have a few bucks to spare, you can still donate to our book purchasing fund knowing that your gift will get ‘Man Bilong Buk’ to more PNG readers.
Bank details: Keith Jackson, National Australia Bank, BSB 082-302, Account 50650-1355