5 Responses

  1. Inez Baranay
    Inez Baranay January 12, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you for this review. To clarify, then: As I believe I told in the book I had never planned to go to PNG, preparing for a more expected placing in Indonesia, until AVA offered me the PNG job, in late 1991, giving me a week to think about it. That was when I approached anyone I could find to tell give me background; that would have been when I met Elizabeth. I had never intended or wanted to write a memoir at that point; I would have hoped for some inspiration for new fiction. The part Cleo quotes in her comment, written when the process was fresh, reflects the move to writing the book I had not at first wanted to write.

  2. Elizabeth Cox
    Elizabeth Cox January 9, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Just a correction to the note on Baranay: “She had not planned to write about her experience, and from comments she makes early on in the book, she had not entirely planned to go to PNG as a volunteer.”
    Inez approached me in the early 1990s indicating that she wanted to get to PNG, had applied to AVI as a way of getting there and that she had a very conscious plan to write about her experience there. Whether writing was her motivation to become an AVI is a matter that only Inez can clarify.

  3. Robin Hide
    Robin Hide January 8, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Note also Baranay’s essay: 2003. “Fraught territory (The reception and impact of ‘Rascal Rain, a Year in Papua New Guinea’).” Meanjin, 62(3), 223-229.

    and for a comparable experience-, this recent book:
    Trish Nicholson 2015. Inside the Crocodile: The Papua New Guinea Journals, Troubador Publishing.

    “Inside the Crocodile is a ‘travel memoir’ and it provides a series of glimpses into the author’s experiences of working in human resources development for the provincial government of Sandaun Province (West Sepik). Nicholson arrived in Vanimo in 1987 and spent five years working on a World Bank-funded development project. The book is compiled from the journals she kept whilst living and working in one of the remotest parts of PNG, and it provides a fascinating and compelling blend of personal and professional interactions, mishaps and successes, and clear-sighted observations of the surrounding and changing natural, social, cultural and economic environments….”
    Tess Newton Cain, In-line insights: five years in Vanimo

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