Books, film & media Feed

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Continue reading "PNG too close to ignore, but what to do?" »


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.

Continue reading "My poems are my story" »


From tragic first contact to now

Daniel & Paul
Author Daniel Kumbon and the subject of his latest book, Paul Kiap Kurai with the vista of Enga below them

DANIEL KUMBON

This is the Introduction from a new book by Daniel Kumbon which will come off the presses in a few weeks’ time. It tells of three generations of a prominent Enga family over a period of 90 years, from first contact with waitman gold prospectors in 1930 to the present day. The book features the prominent Enga businessman Paul Kiap Kurai who carries with him the knowledge that tradition is not something of the past but part of the spirit that carries his people forward into the future - KJ

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The longest title of a PNG memoir ever written

Cover extractPHILIP FITZPATRICK

‘Caution! When in Turbulence do not Pick Nose: Ups and Downs of a Kiwi in Papua New Guinea’ by Colin Pain, Independently Published, 2019, 163 pages, ISBN: 9781071185414, AU$15.54 plus postage, from Amazon Australia

TUMBY BAY - This rather disjointed book has some curious spelling errors, inexplicable font changes and a cover that is difficult to immediately link to the content.

The overriding impression is that it was either put together in a hurry or with a fairly blasé attitude about the end result.

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Inspector Metau is on the prowl again

CoverKEITH JACKSON

The Case of the Great Pumpkin Heist by Philip Fitzpatrick, Amazon Books 2020, 328 pages. Kindle edition US$1.00; paperback US$7.98. 328 pages. Free downloadable copy – go to the Free Inspector Hari Metau Books link in the bar on top of the PNG Attitude masthead above

NOOSA – We had to wait another year for it but Phil Fitzpatrick has produced the fifth novel in his Inspector Hari Meta series of detective stories set in Papua New Guinea.

And this one, no less than the others, offers a rattling good mystery suffused in the aura, chaos and comedy of modern day Papua New Guinea as well as exploring many of the challenging issues that face the country.

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Where we’re up to with the Francis Nii book

MBB coverKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – As I’ve written before, ‘Man Bilong Buk’ (‘The Bookman’) edited by Phil Fitzpatrick and me is unfortunately not available in Papua New Guinea – which Amazon seems to have now taken off its distribution list.

With Amazon the printer and sole supplier, I’ve been working to establish an alternative distribution network for this wonderful 320 page illustrated book about the life and writing of the late Papua New Guinean author, Francis Nii.

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The progress of ‘Man Bilong Buk’

QuoteKEITH JACKSON

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.

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How a Gumine family graduated from Yale

Pole Kale
Pole Kale writes the story of his life and career but also a manual on how a commitment to education is best realised as a family pursuit

ARNOLD MUNDUA

Quest for Education: From Selling Firewood to Yale University, by Pole John Kale, Published by Francis Nii under the imprint of Simbu Writers Association, August 2020. Copies can be ordered from Pole Kale, email polekale@gmail.com. Also available here from Amazon Books

KUNDIAWA - It is not often that you will find an academic success story of a Papua New Guinean intellectual in print form.

Although written CVs or career profiles may give an insight into a person’s academic background, the early childhood experiences that contribute to achieving such success are mostly obscured.

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Francis Nii e-book free on PNG Attitude

Francis Nii (2)
Phil Fitzpatrick - "This is not a book about a disabled writer. It is a book about a towering figure in the history of Simbu and Papua New Guinea itself"

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – After a remarkably short production time, the Francis Nii collection, ‘Man Bilong Buk’, has been readied for printing and we’re pleased to make an e-book available for free download immediately.

The link to the e-book can be found above this page’s masthead by clicking through the headline ‘The Francis Nii Collection’.

Continue reading "Francis Nii e-book free on PNG Attitude" »


Innovation can make suckers of us all

Twitter
In the USA much presidential policy is dispensed using Twitter feed. Trump has 86 million followers (PNG Attitude has 7,000)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - No matter how good an innovation is there will always be people who subvert it and spoil it for everyone else.

This axiom applies from something as simple as people taking undue advantage of a public welfare measure by ripping it off with false claims to the greater complexity of major frauds perpetuated by large corporations taking advantage of loopholes in tax laws.

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A new magazine for Papua New Guinea

PngheadANDREW WILKINS
| Business Advantage International

PORT MORESBY - This week saw the launch of PNG Now, a new lifestyle magazine for Papua New Guinea.

PNG Now is designed to showcase the best of PNG through reviews, guides, articles and tips.

It also offers a platform for exceptional work from some of PNG’s best writers and photographers.

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One of the best kiap memoirs written

Hardy top Talking to people at Wabag
Graham Hardy talking to a meeting at Wabag, late 1950s

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Over the Hills and Far Away: Memoirs of a Kiap in Papua and New Guinea from 1952 to 1975 by Graham Hardy, privately published, 2020, 207 pages with numerous photographs, $42 plus $9.95 postage, available from the author at gandphardy@gmail.com

TUMBY BAY - If I could live my life over I think I would prefer to have been born 20 years earlier.

That would have made me too young to take part in World War II but just the right age to go to Papua New Guinea as a kiap in the immediate post war period.

That period, especially in the highlands, probably represented the halcyon days of the Australian Administration.

The Papua New Guinean people still lived a largely traditional lifestyle, there remained large areas unexplored, and development after the war was still in its infancy. There was a lot happening and life was exciting.

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Man Bilong Buk - what you can expect

MBB writers pic
Francis Nii with Daniel Kumbon, Phil Fitzpatrick, Martin Namorong and Keith Jackson, Noosa, 2016

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The manuscript of the Francis Nii Collection, so generously funded by a number of PNG Attitude readers, is nearing completion and shall soon be despatched to Jordan Dean – who runs Papua New Guinea’s only affordable publishing company - for design, layout and publication.

Entitled Man Bilong Buk, the tribute volume includes the best of the late author’s provocative and entertaining essays, revelations from his astonishing life story and insights into how an author imprisoned by his own body in the corner of a hospital ward managed to become such an exceptional figure in fostering a home-grown literature in PNG.

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The bringing of law in an unfamiliar clime

Kerry Dillon
Kerry Dillon - at 22 plunged into the intricacies of bringing western criminal justice to Papua New Guinea

KEITH JACKSON

The Chronicle of a Young Lawyer by Kerry Dillon, Hybrid Publishers, August 2020, 384pp. ISBN: 9781925736410, $35. Available from Booktopia & all good bookstores, www.hybridpublishers.com.au and as an ebook from Amazon, Kobo, Google Books and Apple iBookstore

NOOSA – In 1970 I was the 25-year old assistant manager of Radio Rabaul, my main responsibility being running its news service.

For most of my time at the station my staff consisted just of me.

The Mataungan Association, a proto-independence movement, was in full cry and its legitimate call for social equity and fairer land apportionment for the Tolai people was mixed with the illegitimacy of rebellion and violence.

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Give us a hand to find Francis's books

Francis Nii  Kundiawa Hospital  2012KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - As I gradually compile the full list of books that Francis Nii authored, edited or published, it has become clear to me that his productivity – if I may use such a managerial word – was far greater than previously acknowledged.

And so that I can ensure that the volume we are putting together, Man Bilong Buk – The Francis Nii Collection, is as complete and accurate as possible, I’m previewing here where we’re up to in compiling the list of books he wrote, edited or published in the hope that readers will contribute by adding to or correcting our work so far.

Continue reading "Give us a hand to find Francis's books" »


Bravo! Another Metau epic on the way

Inspector Hari Metau
Inspector Hari Metau

If there was any justice in fiction writing, Phil Fitzpatrick’s Hari Metau series would have sold a million copies and be into its third movie by now. Instead, Phil is putting the final touches on the fifth book in the series and I – and many others who have grown to love the stories of the honest, hard-working detective hard at work in steamy, corrupt Port Moresby – will be grateful but unable to make Phil richer - KJ

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - As far as I can work out I learned to read somewhere between my third and fourth birthdays.

By the time I was five I had worked my way through many of the popular children’s books then available, including James Barrie’s Peter Pan or The Boy who would not Grow Up.

Continue reading "Bravo! Another Metau epic on the way" »


National Book Week is meaningless & vain

Francis
Francis Nii - "A meaningless and derisory celebration that should not be called National Book Week"

FRANCIS NII

One year ago, Francis Nii wrote this article proposing how Papua New Guinea’s annual book week could be more relevant and useful by focusing on locally-authored books. Like much of what Francis wrote, his words were perceptive but ignored. This failure to listen to and act on good advice underpins much of PNG’s failure to progress the interests of its people….

KUNDIAWA - It is high time the meaningless and vain annual National Book Week was changed to make it become the vehicle for stimulating tangible benefits to writers and readers.

Every August features National Book Week. In Papua New Guinea gaudy banners of all sizes rustle in the dusty wind. Written on them is an ostensibly witty theme that nobody cares about.

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A PNG politician, warts & all

Wake Goi CoverPHILIP FITZPATRICK

Flight of Jungle Eagle – An Autobiography of Wake Goi, Francis Nii Publications, 2020, 168 pages, ISBN: 9798640309997, US$21.50 from Amazon.com

TUMBY BAY – This work is notable for a number of reasons including that it was the last book that was edited and published by Francis Nii, who most of our readers will know died on Sunday.

Francis worked on the book while he was ill, managing to complete it during a respite in his battle for survival. A battle he ultimately lost.

Continue reading "A PNG politician, warts & all" »


Hostile laws challenge Melanesian media

Cover_FinalNEWSDESK
| Pacific Media Watch

AUCKLAND - Hostile media environments in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and West Papua pose growing challenges to the Melanesian region’s democracies, says Pacific Journalism Review in its latest edition.

The New Zealand-based research journal warns that laws and cultural restrictions are providing barriers to open information and are silencing journalists.

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Ordinary life in an extraordinary place

Frontier-LandsPHILIP FITZPATRICK

Better Than Rich and Famous: My Papua New Guinea Days by Nicholas C Brown, Mereo Books, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, 2020. ISBN: 9781861519641. 318 pages with illustrations. Available from Amazon Australia, Dymocks, Booktopia, Fishpond etc. for between about AU$33 and – AU$43. eBook for AU$4.29.

TUMBY BAY - Anyone who has worked in Papua New Guinea, past or present, will recognise the feeling. It lies somewhere between exasperation, despondency and hopelessness.

You arrive at a new posting and discover that it’s a mess. The airstrip is covered in grass a foot high amongst which half-wild cattle are grazing. The tractor and grass cutter is jacked up without wheels in a tilting shed or rusting out in the rain.

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The warriors who had no name

Nameless Warrios headGREGORY BABLIS

The Ben Moide Story: Nameless Warriors by Lahui Ako, University of Papua New Guinea Press, 2012, 246 pages. ISBN      9980869577. Order online or purchase from the UPNG Press & Bookshop, Port Moresby

PORT MORESBY – Ben Moide was one of the youngest members of the Papuan Infantry Battalion (PIB), a unit of the Australian Army formed in 1940, the first 63 recruits being old or volunteer police officers, some with considerable experience patrolling with the kiaps.

However Moide’s picture of the PIB was not one of glorious comradeship, but of tribal enmities, tensions even amongst kinsmen, dissension, desertion and discrimination between mixed race and other troops. The PIB lost 60% of its members due to such issues.

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We’ve all got a book in us – or two

Better-Rich-than-FamousNICHOLAS C BROWN

VICTORIA - I had gone to Papua New Guinea in 1971 as a 25-year old seeking adventure.

I’d found life in Britain a little less exciting than I had originally hoped and wanted to do something useful.

But, in those days, I had really no idea as to what that might entail.

I was born in London and left the UK in 1972 and, determined to travel and see the world, lived and worked in Papua New Guinea, after which I took up a similar post with the Commonwealth Secretariat in the British Virgin Islands before eventually continuing my career in Australia in the early 1980’s.

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