Publication Details

Sharrad, P. ""Ghem pona wai?": vernacular imaginations in contemporary Papua New Guinea fiction." Vernacular Worlds, Cosmopolitan Imagination. Ed.S. S. Karayanni and S. Stephanides. Brussels: Rodopi, 2015, 121-144.

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9789004300644


Papua New Guinea (PNG) writing has faded into the background of Pacific literature after initially sparking off the late-colonial/early postcolonial 'boom' of the 1970s. This essay examines some of the dynamics behind this, based on the tension in the loosely networked regional literary formation between cosmopolitan, disaporic, and anglophone expression and 'nativist' vernacular culture. For many reasons, PNG has been more 'vernacular' than 'cosmopolitan', and writing continues to be centred on a few and on the national university where it all began. However, there are some signs of change. The essay surveys recent writing and focuses on work by Regis Stella and Steven Winduo.