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Mister Pip Lloyd Jones Montana Book Awards Commonwealth Writers Prize Shortlisted Man Booker Prize Million-Dollar Book Contract National and International.

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Presentation on theme: "Mister Pip Lloyd Jones Montana Book Awards Commonwealth Writers Prize Shortlisted Man Booker Prize Million-Dollar Book Contract National and International."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mister Pip Lloyd Jones Montana Book Awards Commonwealth Writers Prize Shortlisted Man Booker Prize Million-Dollar Book Contract National and International Acclaim Journalistic Experience

2 Setting


4 Geographic and Political Context 1884 Britain Cede Northern Solomon Islands (Including Bougainville) to Germany – German New Guinea – in Exchange Western Samoa 1904 British New Guinea (Southern) Administered Australia – Renamed Papua World War I Australian Troops Occupy German New Guinea 1918 League of Nations Grant Australia Mandate to Administer (German) New Guinea; Papua Extended Territory of Australian Commonwealth 1945 Papua New Guinea Administered United Nations 1975 Independence

5 Bougainville 1960s Copper Deposits Bougainville, Panguna Mine, Local Protest 1975 Secessionist Revolt, Attempt to Claim Independence as Republic of North Solomons 1988 Protest Against Mines Led Francis Ona and Pepetua Serero; Formation Panguna Landowner’s Association Ona Form Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA); Sabotage Mine (Shut 1989)


7 Bougainville Civil War 1988-1997 Claim 20,000 Lives Papua New Guinea Military (and Mercenaries) and BRA Anarchy, Violence Papua New Guinea Blockade 1997 Ceasefire 1998 Lincoln Agreement, Elections

8 Setting Juxtaposition of Natural Beauty and Human Cruelty - p. 34, 179 Storm – Cleansing Force, p. 183 Destruction and Creation; Rebirth in Flood

9 Black, White, Red Different World Views – p. 4 Mine: Employment, Change, Alienation Redskins Rambos Complexity: Dolores and Matilda – pp. 41-2 Post-Colonial? Universal: Brutality and Kindness Balance: Written and Oral

10 Intertextuality Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1860-1)

11 Jones on Dickens Great Expectations plays a crucial role in Mister Pip - when did you first come across this book and why did it leave such an impression on you? Great Expectations plays a crucial role in Mister Pip - when did you first come across this book and why did it leave such an impression on you? It was the first of Dickens’ books I read. I was sick at home from school. I heard someone knock on the door. It was a salesman of some kind. Next I heard my mother’s footsteps in the hall. She came in with a book. ‘Great Expectations’. My reward for being sick, I suppose. From the moment Magwich confronts Pip in the grave yard I was hooked. I’ve returned to it many times, and as I got older and better at reading I began to see the book in a slightly different light. Pip’s invitation to go up to London and turn himself into a ‘gentleman’ is similar to the challenge we all face: to make ourselves into something. 89 89

12 Jones on Dickens Dickens's novel was the first adult book that Lloyd Jones read and, like Matilda, he experienced it first as an enchantment, an adventure story, and only later came to understand its wider resonance. 'If you're from a migrant society, it's easy to see the orphan and the migrant as interchangeable. For both, the past is at best a fading photograph.‘ As Great Expectations opens out its meanings to Matilda, so Mister Pip broadens into a consideration of post-colonial culture, a meditation on what is kept and what rejected, what remembered and what forgotten and the extent to which individuals can choose (to use a phrase Jones uses more than once during our interview) how to be in the world. Geraldine Bedell erprize

13 Jeremy Rose, Scoop Review of Books, 15 March 2008 [Agnes] Titus says the book was painful to read. “It was a bit dry at first but once I got to the tale about what happened during the crisis. I didn’t want to put it down. By the third day I had finished it. “It actually brought memories back. Because it seemed too true it was quite painful. It was like reliving the situation again.” She says the scene in the book where the women went to the school to tell stories was a realistic example of how the mothers, in particular, tried to maintain a sense of normality during the crisis in an attempt to protect their children from the suffering of war.

14 Intertextuality Bildungsroman Adult Voice Looking Back Jones on Narrative Voice: -‘persuasiveness of voice’ -‘Do I believe this voice?’ -‘Voice will convince the reader of the most extraordinary situations.’ eurl= and-trailers/group-201/319308.html

15 Jones on Narrative Voice You chose to tell Mister Pip through the eyes of a fifteen-year-old girl, Matilda; how did you manage to create the authentic voice of Matilda? It isn’t authentic because I am a fifty-two year old white male. An authentic narrative by a 15 year old girl is written by such a person. I prefer to talk about ‘literary truth.’ Matilda is persuasive because she ‘sounds’ plausible. (As writers, voice is our chief charm offensive). ve/articles/89

16 Intertextuality Dickens: Refracted Through Mr Watts: Refracted Through Matilda Great Expectations: Recreated by Children: Memory Great Expectations: Appropriated by Mr Watts Post-Modern Power of Reader Room as Inter-Text (pp. 154-5, 158-9)

17 Shaping Power of Literature Escape: Foreign, Compelling World Parallel, Make Sense (Mr Jaggers and Father, p. 130; Mum and Miss Havisham) Redemptive Power: Solace, Meaning, Hope, Faith Privacy, Own Space (p. 108) ‘a place of light’ – p. 14 ‘what no person can take...our minds and our imaginations’ (p. 107) ‘a contained a world that was whole and made sense, unlike ours’ (p. 58) ‘Mr Watts was giving back something of ourselves in the shape of a story’ (p. 165) ‘friend in Pip...slip under the act of magic’ (p. 200)

18 Jones on Dickens Q: Why have Great Expectations anchor a South Pacific story? A: Well, it is considered a classic in the English-speaking world. More importantly, it offers (teacher) Mr Watts to draw on the similarities between the status of an orphan (Pip) and an immigrant (himself). Both have their pasts severed; both are given the possibility to make themselves anew. In other words, we need not be stuck with what we arrive to in the world. I think that is quite a powerful message for a bunch of kids caught up in a slow disintegration of the place they call home. 920071012

19 Jones on Literature Mr Watt's "survival weapon was story" yet, ultimately, it was not enough to save him. How far are we to believe in the restorative power of literature? Well story is hardly a match for a bullet or a machete. Yet, clearly story had saved Mr Watts up to a point. He says as much when he tells Matilda that the example of Pip gave him the courage to think he could change his own life. Furthermore, by sharing his enthusiasm for Great Expectations, he’d shown a class of children how to access another world. That’s not a bad tool to have up your sleeve when your own world is diminished or shattered. If we are lucky as readers, then for a period of time, we forget ourselves, our own life, and step into another’s with eyes wide open, brain ticking in an alien world that becomes increasingly familiar, weirdly and fabulously even more so than the one we inhabit when we wake up to begin the day. How magical is that? A made up world eclipsing the one in which we actually live and with real needs such as satisfying thirst and hunger or other frustrations. A world in which we ghost in and out of.

20 Dangers, Insufficiency Literature? Dolores: Bible and Stories Cultural Colonisation? No Protection Mister Pip to Blame? Mr Watts as Fantasist?

21 Tragedy War, Brutality, Inhumanity Personal Loss Ongoing Trauma Sacrifice: ‘to be human is to be moral’ (p. 181) Restoration and Hope? Where Should the Book End? Claiming Your Own Voice (p. 220)

22 Helen Elliott, Review,, 22 September 2006 ‘It reads like the effortless soar and dip of a grand piece of music, thrilling singular voices, the darker, moving chorus, the blend of the light and shade, the thread of grief urgent in every beat and the occasional faint, lingering note of hope. However, unlike the orchestration of massed voices and instruments, the finale does not bring wonder but despair. And that's a wonder in itself, that such a grim subject can still carry something as luminous and as revealing to readers worlds away from a forgotten village on the pacific.’

23 Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 October 2006 ‘Jones has done something very difficult with this novel: he has taken a recent and brutal piece of contemporary history and has told a story that not only reveals these events to the wider world but also shows what they mean in the larger and more abstract field of human behaviour. A brutal and senseless episode - the atrocities committed during the Bougainville blockade has been compared with events in Rwanda - becomes something from which a lesson may be learned. It's also a novel about imagination and about the power and value of art as a potentially redemptive force in a nightmare situation.’

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