Books, film & media Feed

The book that went missing for 50 years

Marie Reay
Marie Reay wrote the the first, book on women’s lives in the PNG Highlands. It was not discovered for 50 years (Noel Butlin)

FRANCESCA MERLAN

Wives and Wanderers in a New Guinea Highlands Society by Marie Olive Reay. Francesca Merlan (ed). ANU Press 2014. 268 pages. ISBN 97819250212155 (paperback). Link here for free download

Marie Reay (1922-2004) was an Australian anthropologist, best known for work in the New Guinea Highlands. The manuscript for Wives and Wanderers was discovered in 2011, seven years after her death and 50 years after she had made her last amendments to it. Editor Francesca Merlan did a fine job in bringing it to publication and providing a valuable and stimulating Introduction. Some edited extracts follow - KJ

CANBERRA - Wives and Wanderers presents vivid, ethnographically based narrative of the lives of women of the Wahgi Valley in the Central Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Marie Reay explores the experiences of courting, attraction, love, marriage, and the combination of male dominance and barely restrained female resentment and rebelliousness.

Continue reading "The book that went missing for 50 years" »


A prosateur writes on best prosateurs

Clive James
Clive James

CLIVE JAMES
| Australian Book Review

The late Clive James (1938-2019), born and raised in Sydney, wrote this review of The Best Australian Essays 2002 (edited by Peter Craven and published by Black Inc) for the May 2003 issue of Australian Book Review (ABR). James was a distinguished critic, poet, author, television performer and journalist. He moved to England in 1961 and remained, but with many visits back home. Among his countless publications are nine poetry collections, four novels, a translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, five volumes of memoirs (most famously Unreliable Memoirs), and many collections of literary and television criticism. He wrote for ABR 20 times between 2001 and 2015. This review is an exemplar of superb essay writing - KJ

CAMBRIDGE, UK - After only four annual volumes, The Best Australian Essays has reached the point where the law of increasing expectations begins to kick in. By now the series has done so much that we want it to do everything.

Continue reading "A prosateur writes on best prosateurs" »


A brief history of PNG literature, Part 1

BooksPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Papua New Guinea has a rich tradition of oral literature which exists to this day.

Vincent Eri’s work of 1970, The Crocodile, was the first novel by a Papua New Guinean, but it seems likely that the first book written by a Papua New Guinean came from the pen of the New Ireland writer, Ligeremaluoga (also known as Osea).

Continue reading "A brief history of PNG literature, Part 1" »


Land theft: the old - and, in PNG, neo - colonial project

Image from the cover of Red Nation Rising
Image from the cover of Red Nation Rising

EVE OTTENBERG
| CounterPunch

Red Nation Rising is a new book investigating the violence of border towns: those white-dominated towns located at the borders of Native American reservations, borders which separate the territory of sovereign Native nations from lands claimed by the United States. And the trigger for violence? The desire to steal the land in which Native people have profound roots: an issue which the people of Papua New Guinea will fully understand. Thanks to Phil Fitzpatrick for the referral

Red Nation Rising: From Bordertown Violence to Native Liberation by Nick Estes, Melanie Yazzie, Jennifer Nez Denetdale & others. PM Press. Paperback. 176 pages. Available from Amazon

PETROLIA, CALIFORNIA - The scope of violence against Native people in the United States is truly staggering.

In fact, it would be safe to say the historical genocide never ended. It is ongoing.

Continue reading "Land theft: the old - and, in PNG, neo - colonial project" »


Contentious book tells what kiaps feel

Mutiny on Patrol
'Mutiny on the 37th Day. We want to go home now. Really?' (Rob Barclay)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Cannibals, Conflict & First Contact: 21 Years a New Guinea Patrol Officer by Robin Barclay, Independently Published, 2021, 282 pages. ISBN: 9780646839608. Soft-cover $55, hard-cover $150 plus $18 postage (express $22). Contact the author at ambunti1965@gmail.com to purchase copies of the book and its artworks

TUMBY BAY - In the literary tradition of controversial  colonial magistrate CAW Monckton (1872-1936), Rob Barclay’s new book is a politically incorrect version of the kiap experience in pre-independence Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Contentious book tells what kiaps feel" »


Landmark novel from a distinguished writer

Daniel Kumbon and grandson Clinton.  Kundiawa   2021
Daniel Kumbon and grandson Clinton. Kundiawa,   2021

KEITH JACKSON

The reviews will come but this is not one of them. Daniel Kumbon’s first novel, The Old Man’s Dilemma, was published this week and here I offer the Foreword I wrote accompanied by Daniel’s Preface. The book is now on sale.

The Old Man's Dilemma by Daniel Kumbon, Love, Grief, Happiness & Rebellion: A Modern Day Novel From Papua New Guinea. Independently published, June 2021. Paperback, 188 pages. ISBN-13:‎ 979-8526508247. Link here to purchase from Amazon. Paper $11.39. Kindle $1

NOOSA – Daniel Kumbon is one of Papua New Guinea’s most prominent modern day authors and he has accumulated a substantial collection of non-fiction writing – all of it offering a Melanesian worldview.

Continue reading "Landmark novel from a distinguished writer" »


Savage assassination of Pacific media jewel

David Robie
Dr David Robie - "I have never experienced something as blatant, destructive and lacking in transparency as this"

DAVID ROBIE
| Café Pacific | Edited extract

Link here to read the complete illustrated chronicle of the Pacific Media Centre by its founding director Dr Robie

AUCKLAND - It really is bizarre. After 26 months of wrangling, stakeholder representations and appeals by Pacific Media Centre (PMC) to Auckland University of Technology, in the end the innovative unit remains in limbo.

In fact, sadly, it seems like a dead end.

Continue reading "Savage assassination of Pacific media jewel" »


A most readable novel connects two worlds

John Kuri and daughters
John Kuri (Kamnguru Nem) and daughters. A novel that takes the reader into the complex world of Melanesians before the arrival of Western influence

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Porugl: Son of the Underworld by Kamnguru Nem, Independently published, 183 pages. ISBN: 9798520442332. Available from Amazon Australia, ebook $25.94, paperback $42.83

TUMBY BAY - A gigl ambu is a female spirit who lives in the underworld and travels at night into the outerworld, where humans live, to secretly forage for food.

The underworld is ruled by an ancient serpent, Kerwanba. Among her subjects are spirits, dwarfs and the mysterious smoking makan nem who act as landlords.

Continue reading "A most readable novel connects two worlds" »


A beautiful book, long in the making

Mutiny on the 37th (Rob Barclay)
Mutiny on the 37th - an illustration from 'Cannibals, Conflict and First Contact' by Rob Barclay

ROB BARCLAY

BLACKBURN, VIC - Cannibals, Conflict and First Contact is my illustrated adventure memoir of a New Guinea patrol officer spanning 21 years from 1958 to 1979.

From the early 1900s to Independence in 1975, New Guinea was Australia’s only colonial experience.

Australia was determined to ‘do it right’, evolving initiatives that were widely copied by other colonial powers as a textbook study of how to bring primitive peoples into the modern world with a minimum of trauma.

Continue reading "A beautiful book, long in the making" »


Epic years in march to nationhood unveiled

John Gorton -
Australian prime minister John Gorton Gorton decided to proceed to self-government in PNG despite the economic implications for Australia"

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Documents on Australian Foreign Policy: Australia and Papua New Guinea: The Transition to Self-Government 1970-1972, Bruce Hunt and Stephen Henningham (eds.), Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, UNSW Press, 2020, 932 pp, eBook (ISBN: 9781742249681), AU$55.51, hardback (ISBN: 9781742237176) AU$89.99, available from New South Books

TUMBY BAY - This impressive volume is the second in a series of three. The first volume published in 2006 covered the period 1966-1969*. The third volume, covering the period 1973-1975, is scheduled for publication in 2022.

The three volumes will no doubt become an important primary source for historians and other professionals but should also be of interest to the readers of PNG Attitude who wish to understand what happened in those formative years.

Continue reading "Epic years in march to nationhood unveiled" »


How colonial radio came to PNG

Nellie Exon (Lawrence)
Radio Rabaul's Nellie Exon, the first Tolai woman broadcaster

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The first government broadcasting station in Papua New Guinea, Radio Rabaul, was opened in a hurry in October 1961.

There were no adequate production, transmission and office facilities – a demonstration that there had been little planning behind the bold decision of the colonial Administration to enter the broadcasting field.

Continue reading "How colonial radio came to PNG" »


Patrolling with kiaps in remote PNG

DunjeyPHILIP FITZPATRICK

Stethoscopes, Kiaps and the Law of the Jungle by Dr Malcolm Dunjey, Ark House Press, 2021, 162 pages, ISBN 9780645103168, US$22.99 from Ark House Press

TUMBY BAY - This short book describes three patrols conducted in the Western District between 1966 and 1967 that were accompanied by Dr Malcolm Dunjey, who was the District Medical Officer based in Daru.

My particular interest stems from the fact that I led patrols into the same areas a few years later when I was based at Olsobip and then Nomad River.

Continue reading "Patrolling with kiaps in remote PNG" »


A new children’s storybook from PNG

Evari - When I grow up topCAROLINE EVARI

When I Grow Up by Caroline Evari, illustrated by Clarisa Alu. Independently published, May 2021. Paperback, 24 pages. ISBN-13: 979-8740768373. Available here from Amazon Australia $17.14 (shipped)

PORT MORESBY - My new children’s story book, ‘When I Grow Up’, has just been published and is available.

The book is a Papua New Guinean collaboration between me, artist Clarisa Alu and poet Bradley Gewa.

Continue reading "A new children’s storybook from PNG" »


Another PNG book publisher emerges

Baiva  publisher  author and speaker
Shane Baiva - trying to get inspirational books to market

SHANE BAIVA
| Ples Singsing

PORT MORESBY - Young Papua New Guinean authors like Glen Burua, Edward E Isouve, Gerard William Ivalaoa and Nigel V Sine are rising to leave a mark for this generation & generations to come.

I am excited, blessed and so humbled to see these young people doing what they love doing – writing and getting published.

Continue reading "Another PNG book publisher emerges" »


A record explained, or rationalised?

Chan
Julius Chan brought in the mercenaries, devalued the kina and hated the Ombudsman Commission

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

Sir Julius Chan: Playing the Game: Life and Politics in Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY – As MP for Namatanai, Julius Chan was one of the founding fathers of Papua New Guinea, twice serving as prime minister (1980– 82 and 1994-97) and currently governor of New Ireland Province.

Unlike Michael Somare in ‘Sana’, who focused much on the principles and traditions that underpinned his statesmanship, ‘Playing the Game’ admits from the outset that it is a book about politics.

Continue reading "A record explained, or rationalised?" »


Sana: The making of a great man

SanaDIANE HIRIMA & MINETTA KAKARERE
Academia Nomad | Edited

Michael Somare: Sana, An Autobiography

PORT MORESBY - Sana was first published in 1975, the year of Papua New Guinea’s independence. It traces Sir Michael Somare life from childhood to politics and his leading PNG to nationhood.

Sana (peacemaker) is a metaphor for a life lived both in upholding and fulfilling traditional obligations and enabling the transformation to modernity.

Continue reading "Sana: The making of a great man" »


Half colonial – the man who stayed behind

Ken Fairweather
Ken Fairweather - a rollicking story from a man who learned to play the game

RUSSELL KITAU
| Academia Nomad | Edited extracts

Ken Fairweather: Farewell White Man, An Autobiography

PORT MORESBY – ‘Farewell White Man’ is the autobiography of Ken Fairweather CBE who arrived in Papua New Guinea from Melbourne as a young man in 1970.

Fairweather writes about his life and also tells the story of PNG from the end of the colonial period to self-government and independence.

Continue reading "Half colonial – the man who stayed behind" »


He had a phone & he wrote a book

Gerard Ivalaoa with his book ‘70 Reminders of Academic Excellence’
Gerard Ivalaoa with his book ‘70 Reminders of Academic Excellence’ (Ples Singsing)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Young author Gerard Ivalaoa struck it lucky after writing an 85,000 word book on his smartphone in the most difficult of circumstances.

After hearing of his achievement, Digicel PNG presented a new Dell laptop and a Samsung smartphone to Gerard, who is of Gulf parentage and lives on the outskirts of Port Moresby in a settlement with no electricity.

Continue reading "He had a phone & he wrote a book" »


Beatrice Blackwood & her New Guinea exploits

Blackwood - Petats village  1929
Petats village. "Arriving at Buka Passage on September 25th, 1929, I started work a few days later on the island of Petats, one of the string of coral islets fringing the west coast of Buka. There are no white residents on this island, and it seemed in many ways suitable for my purpose"

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Beatrice Mary Blackwood (1889–1975) was born into a wealthy family in England and attended Oxford University, gaining a degree in English and a distinction in Anthropology, a field in which she sought to excel and in which she continued to work at Oxford until a few days before her death.

Blackwood never married and conducted some exacting field trips. Her second, in 1929, was to Buka and Bougainville and she was the first woman anthropologist to travel to the region.

Continue reading "Beatrice Blackwood & her New Guinea exploits" »


Charles Monckton – the trigger happy colonialist

Charles Monckton  1907
Charles Monckton in 1907

BRADLEY GEWA
| Academia Nomad

Charles Monckton: Some Experiences of a New Guinea Resident Magistrate

PORT MORESBY –Charles Arthur Whitmore Monckton (1873-1936) first arrived in the protectorate of British New Guinea (later known as Papua) in 1895 having been recruited from New Zealand as a magistrate.

Upon Monckton’s arrival, Lieutenant-Governor Sir William MacGregor was unable to employ him.

Continue reading "Charles Monckton – the trigger happy colonialist" »


Another time, but not all has changed

TrobriandsMICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

Ted Wolfers: Race Relations and Colonial Rule in Papua New Guinea
Link here for details of how you can buy the book

PORT MORESBY - Ted Wolfers’ groundbreaking book, Race Relations and Colonial Rule in Papua New Guinea, was republished in 2016, 40 years after the first edition appeared in 1975.

Ted Wolfers wrote the substance of much of this book whilst he was in PNG between 1961 and 1971.

Continue reading "Another time, but not all has changed" »


Review: Sean Dorney’s book is full of insight

Pauline and Sean Dorney
Pauline and Sean Dorney. "This book, even though written by an Australian, is the PNG voice speaking to Australia"

TANYA ZERIGA-ALONE
| Academia Nomad

The death of Michael Somare on 26 February renewed interest in the Papua New Guinea about its own history. To advance this mood, Academia Nomad invited reviews of books about PNG – KJ

Sean Dorney: The Embarrassed Colonialist
Link here to details of how you can buy the book

PORT MORESBY – This 140- page book was published in 2016 by Penguin Books for the Lowy Institute in Australia.

The book is short and easy reading but its eight chapters are packed with much insight about the Australia-Papua New Guinea relationship.

Continue reading "Review: Sean Dorney’s book is full of insight" »


Review: The diaries of Mikloucho-Maclay

Miklouho–Maclay
Nikolai Nikolaevich Mikloucho-Maclay

BRADLEY GEWA
| Academia Nomad | Edited

Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare’s death on 26 February created renewed interest in a neglected subject – the history of Papua New Guinea. Many people called for this to be taught at all levels of education.

To advance this idea, Academia Nomad invited readers to submit reviews of books about PNG in nominated categories. This review by Bradley Gewa was submitted in the category ‘Racism and Colonialism’ – KJ

Continue reading "Review: The diaries of Mikloucho-Maclay" »


Pacific Media Centre still in limbo

Del Abcede  David Robie
Del Abcede and David Robie at the Pacific Media Centre

TEUILA FUATAI
| The Spinoff | Edited extracts

AUCKLAND - Since 2007, the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology has built a solid reputation for its research and reporting on issues throughout the Asia Pacific region.

It has also been a productive training facility for Pasifika journalists and academics.

Continue reading "Pacific Media Centre still in limbo" »


Ples Singsing gets a valuable helping hand

Benefactors Daniel Kumbon and Paul Kurai in their beloved mountains
Literary benefactors Daniel Kumbon and Paul Kurai in their beloved mountains of Enga

CAROLINE EVARI
| Ples Singsing

PORT MORESBY - With only two weeks to go before the awards ceremony for the first Tingting Bilong Mi essay competition, we received a pleasant surprise.

It came by way of a comment on the PNG Attitude story by Pat Levo and Keith Jackson, ‘Women Triumph in First Essay Contest.

Continue reading "Ples Singsing gets a valuable helping hand" »


Love, death, old age & other mysteries

Late Francis Nii and Daniel Kumbon  2016 Brisbane writers festival
Great writers and great friends, the late Francis Nii and Daniel Kumbon at the 2016 Brisbane writers festival

DANIEL KUMBON

An edited extract from ‘The old man, his wife & the young girl’, a short story in Daniel’s book, ‘Survivor: Alive in Mum’s Loving Arms’, available from Amazon at this link for $16.26 (paperback) or $1.26 (Kindle) - KJ

WABAG - Akali Wakane had met Rosemary at university – he was a law student and she an arts student majoring in social work.

At the time he claimed her as his soulmate, they were both in their second year of study.

Continue reading "Love, death, old age & other mysteries" »


The secret public life of an author

_Bama _Dogger _Met1PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - If you write books, people will seek you out.

They will write letters to you, send you emails and come knocking at your door.

Even my abject and humble efforts have had that effect.

_Man bilong buk _Met2 _FightingWhen I lived in Hervey Bay, Queensland, it was a regular occurrence.

I’m not talking about a deluge, but every few months I’d be sought out.

I thought our move to the relatively remote west coast of South Australia would put an end to that. But it hasn’t been the case.

Continue reading "The secret public life of an author" »


Of white supremacists & the ‘kanakamen’

Painting of Jim Taylor  Port Moresby Craft Market  1996 (Pacific Manuscripts Bureau)
Jim Taylor - artwork from Port Moresby Craft Market,  1996 (Pacific Manuscripts Bureau)

ROBERT FORSTER

The Sky Travellers by Bill Gammage, Melbourne University Press (1994). ISBN 9780522848274. 348 pages. Paperback $49.99

NORTHUMBRIA, UK - A re-examination of Professor Bill Gammage’s book, The Sky Travellers, published by Melbourne University Press in 1994, is timely.

It is especially relevant now given that many Papua New Guineans want to know more about their early colonial history and the attitudes of those who made it.

Continue reading "Of white supremacists & the ‘kanakamen’" »


Black & White magazine: a reflection

B&W No 1
Extract of the cover of the first issue of Black and White

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – In November 1966 I was transferred from my school in the bush to Port Moresby to edit the School Paper.

At 22, I felt it was my big break. An opportunity that put me on the doorstep of journalism.

It was far from a major newspaper; but it was paid, full-time writing job.

Continue reading "Black & White magazine: a reflection" »


Grand-daughter's story of a pioneering pastor

Early mission patrol in the Enga region (Harold Freund)
Early mission patrol in the Enga region (Harold Freund)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Mugang Mugarewec Bitengere- A Pioneer Missionary to the Highlands of New Guinea by Gabby Mugang, Marapa Publications, Waigani, 2018, K100 from the author at mbcpng@gmail.com

TUMBY BAY - The early Lutheran missionaries in the highlands relied very heavily on their Papua New Guinean pastors and evangelists to spread their message and extend their influence.

Continue reading "Grand-daughter's story of a pioneering pastor" »


Cleaning up school funding could boost literature

Rural school (globalgiving.org)
Teachers and pupils at a PNG rural school (globalgiving.org)

AG SATORI

PORT MORESBY – I’ve been investigating the operation of the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) process in Papua New Guinea and whether it is doing the best it can for schools.

And also whether it might be better structured to do more to support education and, in doing that, to support the development of literature and literacy in PNG.

Continue reading "Cleaning up school funding could boost literature " »


When I counted the authors, I gasped

Croc
Extract from the cover of the 2015 Crocodile Prize Anthology

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – PNG Attitude reader Susan Conroy has asked where in Australia may be found books by Papua New Guinean authors.

Unfortunately I, and others, had to inform Susan that no books by contemporary PNG authors are likely to be seen in Australia’s bookshops, and for that matter very few by some of the earlier celebrated authors.

Continue reading "When I counted the authors, I gasped" »


Mr Marape & the tenacity of PNG writers

BookshelfDANIEL KUMBON
MICHAEL DOM
AG SATORI
PHILIP FITZPATRICK
Edited by Keith Jackson

“To all my children across our beautiful and blessed country, have hope and faith that you too can make it in life and make use of your time and talents by working hard wherever God has placed you in our diverse and blessed land of PNG” – James Marape, ‘Advice for young people: You’re here for a purpose’

DANIEL KUMBON – THE HEARTBEAT OF PNG

WABAG - You know prime minister, your words are gold for children of this country. Your direct message can impact their lives at an early age.

Your words can get them off Facebook and get them into a library full of books.

Continue reading "Mr Marape & the tenacity of PNG writers" »


Allen Dulles, West Papua & the murder of JFK


Allen dulles and john kennedy
President John Kennedy and CIA director  Allen Dulles, who Kennedy fired in 1961. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963

EDWARD CURTIN
Dissident Voice | Extract
| Link here to the full book review

JFK vs Allen Dulles: Battleground Indonesia by Greg Poulgrain, Skyhorse 2020, 368 pages. ISBN-10 1510744797. Kindle $19.04, Paperback $25.99 from Amazon here and other suppliers

MASSACHUSETTS, USA - Reading Greg Poulgrain’s masterful analysis, one can clearly see how much of modern history is a struggle for control of the underworld where lies the fuel that runs the mega-machine – oil, minerals, gold, copper, etc.

Continue reading "Allen Dulles, West Papua & the murder of JFK" »


‘Victory Song’ dedicated to a kiap wantok

John Gordon Kirby  Melbourne 2019
John Gordon-Kirkby was a kiap in Enga when he encountered Daniel Kumbon as a boy. After connecting on the internet in recent years, they have formed a great friendship

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY - Early this morning, I received a ‘thank you’ note from one of the kiaps (patrol officers) John Gordon-Kirkby, now aged 84, who had served in Enga Province up to the time of Papua New Guinea’s independence in 1975.

A few days ago, John asked me to send him a dedication note with my signature on it so he could stick it somewhere in my new book, ‘Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter’, which he had just ordered.

Continue reading "‘Victory Song’ dedicated to a kiap wantok" »


The people who put food on PNG’s table

Conroy
John Conroy - writes on the neglected part of PNG's economy without which the country would probably not function

JOHN D CONROY

CANBERRA - In my recently-published book, The Informal Economy in Development, I have tried to explain what ‘informal economy’ means, and why it matters for Papua New Guinea.

Economic informality is often misunderstood and disrespected. My book argues that many kinds of informal economic activity are socially-useful.

They should not be banned and informal workers should not be treated unfairly.

Continue reading "The people who put food on PNG’s table" »


Tough issues explored with pinpoint accuracy

Forster Coastwatcher topROBERT FORSTER

Death of a Coast Watcher by Anthony English, Monsoon Books, Burrough on the Hill, UK, 2020, paperback. ISBN 9781912049707. Video trailer here. Available from the publisher here.

NORTHUMBRIA, UK - One of the books in my slim pre-1975 Papua New Guinean library is Bilong Boi, written by Keith Pickard.

It was published in 1969, concentrates on miscegenation - sexual activity between humans with different skin colours -  and in literary terms is a featherweight.

Continue reading "Tough issues explored with pinpoint accuracy" »


Where are those old Sogeri books?

Powesiu Lawes on the beach at Loniu Village  Manus
Doctor and artist Powesiu Lawes on the beach at Loniu Village,  Manus

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Hazel Kutkue, a doctor at Braun District Hospital west of Finschhafen in Morobe Province (and a fine writer), has asked whether the three Sogeri books mentioned in Marj Walker's obituary are still in print.

It so happens that this was a matter I looked into when I was writing the obituary.

Continue reading "Where are those old Sogeri books?" »


Rose Kekedo’s string of firsts

Rose kekedo
Dame Rose Kekedo

CATHY KEIMELO
| Ples Singsing | Edited

Dame Rose Kekedo by Eric Johns, pamphlet, Famous People of PNG series, 27 pages. Pearson & Longman Publisher, South Melbourne, Australia, 1 January 2002, ISBN-10: 0733933300. Available on Amazon for US$39.99 at this link

WAIGANI – This is a short biography of Dame Rose Violet Kekedo (1942-2005), the first Papua New Guinean first woman to venture into fields and roles that had been traditionally reserved for men.

Like her mother, Dame Mary Kekedo, she was knighted for her services to the government and people of PNG before and after independence.

Continue reading "Rose Kekedo’s string of firsts" »


Dominica Are & her Prized Possessions

Dominica’s book 'Prized Possessions'HAZEL KUTKUE
| Sipikriva Girl Blog | Photographs by Dominica Are

'Prized Possessions: A Collection of Poetry’by Dominica Are, paperback, 132 pages. Independently published, March 2020. ISBN-13 979-8622956454. Available here from Amazon for $US8.73

BRAUN - Poetry makes for beautiful literature.

Sipikriva Girl, despite not entirely embracing poetry, had the opportunity to speak to 34-year old writer, poet and accountant, Dominica Are, who recently published her first collection of poetry, Prized Possessions.

Hailing from the highlands of Papua New Guinea, Dominica works full time as an accountant with PNG Coffee Exports Ltd in Goroka.

Continue reading "Dominica Are & her Prized Possessions" »


Covid, a Facebook dare & then - a new book

Baka bina
Baka Bina

BAKA BINA

Tales from Faif by Baka Barakove Bina with contributions from Emily Sakepe Bina, Amazon KDP Edition, December 2020, $5.00, link here to purchase

PORT MORESBY - Such is life for me that I have published my last three books (Antics of Alonaa, Volume One, Musings from Sogopex and Operesin Kisim Bek Lombo) just before the end of a year.

The result is that during the festive season announcements about them usually get pushed to the side and there are no fanfare.

Continue reading "Covid, a Facebook dare & then - a new book " »


Nenge - small publisher with big prospects

Aramia
Mike Jelliffe on the Aramia River near Balimo, 2018

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Nenge Books is a small Australian business based in Coramba near Coffs Harbour, NSW, which publishes independent authors and is the brainchild of a man with strong roots in Papua New Guinea.

The company was established by author Mike Jelliffe to publish his own writing and has expanded to include other works and provide advice to authors seeking low-cost publishing.

Continue reading "Nenge - small publisher with big prospects" »


Kumbon magnum opus rolls off the press

Daniel Kumbon & Paul Kiap
Author Daniel Kumbon with Engan leader Paul Kiap Kurai, a prominent figure in his new book, 

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter by Daniel Kumbon, Independently Published, 2020, 400 pages, colour illustrations, ISBN: 9798562831323, available here from Amazon Australia, AU$74.65 plus AU$3.90 postage

TUMBY BAY - By Papua New Guinea standards this is a big book. It runs to 400 pages, 85,700 words and 332 illustrations, mostly in colour.

In an article announcing its publication I referred to it as a blockbuster. That’s an aphorism often used to describe books that are not only physically big but wide in scope and ambition.

Continue reading "Kumbon magnum opus rolls off the press" »


Powerful debut from an accomplished poet

Thyatira Kaupa
Thyatira Kaupa - a first rate debut collection of poetry

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

‘Listen’ by Thyatira Kaupa, Hibiscus Three, 2020, 82 pages. ISBN B08KBGMG77, e-book, AU$5 from Amazon Australia

TUMBY BAY - One of the disconcerting elements of Papua New Guinea literature is that there is generally no fanfare when a new book appears.

Interested readers have no source to check out what’s on offer. At best, publicity and reviews of new works are confined to social media and require some diligence to locate.

Continue reading "Powerful debut from an accomplished poet" »


Amazon’s PNG book ban – too many ‘go missing’

Books
Shipments of many books to PNG, including some of great importance, are being delayed because of thefts from the postal service

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Amazon in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom and Amazon’s other international outlets say they won't ship to Papua New Guinea because too many orders go missing.

PNG is among a number of countries that Amazon won't ship to because of this problem.

Publicly Amazon says this is related to Covid-19, but when you question the company about individual shipments it admits the real problem is the loss or theft of shipments.

Continue reading "Amazon’s PNG book ban – too many ‘go missing’" »


Epic story of Enga’s clash of civilisations

Daniel Kumbon & Paul Kiap
Author Daniel Kumbon and Enga bigman Paul Kurai Kiap atop their highlands province

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter by Daniel Kumbon, Independently Published, 2020, 406 pages, colour illustrations, ISBN: 9798562831323. Available from Amazon Australia, AU$74.65 plus AU$3.90 postage (in Australia)

TUMBY BAY - In 1934, at a place called Tole in what is now Enga Province, a man named Pingeta took up his spear and charged down a hill towards the camp of explorer and prospector Michael Leahy and his brother Daniel.

What prompted Pingeta’s action remains unclear. Some people believe that he wanted to launch an attack on the prospectors’ camp to pillage it while other people believe Pingeta was enraged by the apparent invasion of his lands by white men.

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PNG too close to ignore, but what to do?

Border houseSTEPHEN HOWES
| DevPolicy Blog

Too Close to Ignore: Australia’s Borderland with PNG and Indonesia’ by Mark Moran, Jodie Curth-Bibb, Melbourne University Press, March 2020, pp 312. ISBN 9780522875478. Hardback $69.99. Paperback $34.99. Ebook 16.99. Available here from Melbourne University Press

CANBERRA - Edited by Mark Moran and Jodie Curth-Bibb, ‘Too close to ignore: Australia’s borderland with Papua New Guinea and Indonesia’, is a fascinating book, with detailed, rich descriptions of life in the South Fly of Papua New Guinea and of Australia-PNG interactions in this part of the world.

The border puts all the Torres Straits Islands in Australia and is a creation of the 1970s, but the border, along with the Torres Straits Island Treaty (in force since 1985), now rule everything.

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My poems are my story

Are cover picDOMINICA ARE

“If you don’t start writing, you will continue thinking forever and die with your thoughts” – Francis Nii

‘Prized Possessions: A Collection of Poetry’ by Dominica Are, paperback, 132 pages. Independently published, March 2020. ISBN-13 979-8622956454. Available here from Amazon for $9.24

GOROKA - Writing about your own personal experiences and life in your own carefully carved words whilst feeling joy, pain and every emotion along the way can be quite soothing.

It is not easy at first. There are demons that you have to fight off to make peace with your past: your failures, losses and everything you have endured to put your story out there.

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