Ah, to be the possessor of the complete works!

March 20, 2013 at 5:45 am (Book review, Commentary, David Wall)

Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk by David Wall

ISBN-10: 1845491688 Published by Swirl 2007 184 pages. Cost: $30.00 incl postage in Aust Order from David Wall, 152 Wilson St, Newtown 2042 NSW Ph: 02-95505053

David Wall’s first novel draws upon real life experiences in out-station PNG [Angoram] during the 1960s and 70s as ‘colonials’ came face to face with Self-Government and then, Independence. David Wall spent some eighteen years in PNG, largely as a Health Officer in rural areas, and weaves a tale based upon real and imaginary persons and situations and scattered with quaint but apt philosophical views and quotations…

At Angoram and along the Sepik River, we are introduced to the residents: priests, patrol officers, traders and others whose occupations are less clearly defined – a cast of eclectic characters who are skilfully portrayed.

White Papua New Guinea residents will understand, appreciate and enjoy this book greatly, Australians devoid of the ‘PNG Experience’ will perhaps be less convinced of its veracity but will be amazed if convinced that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Anyway they will also enjoy it. Papua New Guinean nationals may have even more difficulty, but for the older literate citizens, it may help to provide some explanation for the odd behaviour of the expatriates they observed in their youth; some may even wish  nostalgically to turn back the clock!
Peter Johnson

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