Nahau Rooney: A life of achievement & controversy
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The progress of ‘Man Bilong Buk’


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.

Francis Nii (2)
Francis Nii

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.

However, if you’re not amongst the aforementioned people, you can obtain the book yourself from Amazon Australia here and Amazon in the USA here – the prices are about the same.

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


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William Dunlop

Thanks, Keith, my much-awaited copy has just arrived.

In 1970 I had been near Francis's home village, a matter I later discussed with him. This was during the opening of the Salt Nomane road extension, which was a road project close to his heart.

Re, the onward extension to Karamui. I see that funds have been recently allocated to complete this project.

The people of Chimbu have much to thank their wheelchair-bound Bik Man Tru for.

My previous Amazon experience not so good. My purchase in 2011 of Field Marshall Lord Allanbrook's war diaries from Amazon. The delivery went astray. Got a refund only.

Now they have Trump to contend with.

Garrett Roche

The book has just been delivered. At first glance it is much more comprehensive than I had expected.

Again, sincere appreciation for your own great contribution to the publication of this book, and also to Phil Fitzpatrick.

Fr Garry in far away County Kildare, Ireland, is the first person to receive a hard copy of Man Bilong Buk - KJ

Mathias Kin

Indeed an excellent effort, Keith. Thank you also to Phil. And to all those kind hearts, Australians and PNGians who contributed towards the project, 'Man Bilong Buk'. I can hardly wait for my copy!

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