Interesting Books Written by Papua New Guineans You Should Read

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We need a generation of “bookfacers” more than “facebookers”!


It’s important that we create and embed in our children the importance of reading and writing.  Creating a culture isn’t an easy task but requires persistence.  And it is indeed a challenging task given the competitive nature and evolving technology we are “faced” with every day.  But there is a lot of inspiration to draw from our own kind and during the course of this year, we will be listing some of the books written by talented Papua New Guinea writers for you or your child’s reading entertainment.  Some of the books can be purchased online.


Over the Christmas break, we had a chance to contact several of our readers on what books written by Papua New Guineans they recommended as a “good read”.


Here’s the first five to start off.


  1. The Crocodile by Vincent Eri

This is a book written by former Governor General the late Sir Vincent Eri. Sir Vincent is often cited as the first Papua New Guinean to have ever published a book in English. The novel is about a man who must avenge himself on the sorcerers who have caused his wife to be eaten by a crocodile. He must also come to terms with colonial rule, with himself and with the crocodile.  It’s an interesting book that includes traditional myths, legends, and tales of magic to express the life of a village where the sacred and secular coexist.


  1. My Mother Calls Me Yaltep by Sir Ignatius Kilage

Another former Governor General, this book was published in the 1980’s.  According to a prominent Papua New Guinean short story writer and teacher, Dr Steven Winduo, My Mother Calls Me Yaltep “remains a classic PNG semi-autobiography”.


  1. Ten Thousand Years in a Lifetime by Maori Kiki

Written by the late Sir Maori Kiki, this is a story of local jungle boy his life and how he grew up to become one of its prominent leaders before the country’s independence from Australia.


  1. Nanu Sina My Words by Carolyn Evari


Unlike the previous three books, Carolyn Evari’s “Nanu Sina My Words” is a collection of poetry. In an interview with Betty Wakia, Evari stated that the book was divided into four parts.  – Conflicts, Relationships, Hope and Family. In each, “you will find poems that resonate with the theme. For example, under Conflict, you find poems that talk about war, doubt and fear and under Relationships there are poems about love and friendship.


  1. My Walk to Equality edited by Rashmii Amoah Bell

This book is a collection of essays, stories and poetry by Papua New Guinea women.  The anthology celebrates the contribution of women to Papua New Guinean society. Papua New Guinean women are doctors and nurses, business leaders, environmental activists, and politicians. Other women in more traditional roles form the backbone of Papua New Guinean society.  Susan Francis in her review of this book last year said “First let me say this is an extraordinary book. I learnt so much. Sometimes I was confronted, most dreadfully, by choices demanded of the individuals depicted, and at other times my heart swelled with hope.”


Tell us your favorite book written by a Papua New Guinean.