Shortlisted Man Booker Prize

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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 Acclaim
• Journalistic Experience
  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
• 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
• 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)
• 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
• Juxtaposition of Natural Beauty and Human
  Cruelty - p. 34, 179
• Storm – Cleansing Force, p. 183
• Destruction and Creation; Rebirth in Flood
             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
• Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1860-1)
                  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?
• 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.
                  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
  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
• 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.’
      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
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).
• 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,
      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)
                Jones on Dickens
• Q: Why have Great Expectations anchor a South Pacific
• 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.
                  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.
    Dangers, Insufficiency Literature?
•   Dolores: Bible and Stories
•   Cultural Colonisation?
•   No Protection
•   Mister Pip to Blame?
•   Mr Watts as Fantasist?
•   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)
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.’
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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