Papua New Guinea

Editors Robert Shapard and Frank Stewart
Guest Editors
Darlaine Māhealani Dudoit
and David M. Roskies



Editors Robert Shapard and Frank Stewart
Guest Editor Kim Uchang

The spring 1990 issue features new fiction, poetry and oral narratives from Papua New Guinea, brought together by two guest editors: Darlaine Māhealani Dudoit and David M. Roskies. With more than 800 languages, the literature and oral traditions of Papua New Guinea are more than we could hope to represent comprehensively. Instead, we have made selections, primarily in English, which we think invite comparison with American writing, particularly with our offering of American fiction.

American social, political, and philosophical issues are embraced in this issue in the fiction of Ian Macmillan and the satire of Ursule Molinaro, and in the remarkable, true tale of Reverend Thich Thong Hai, interviewed by Perle Besserman. Also in this issue are war stories by Tim O’Brien, a chapbook titled Butcher Scraps by Faye Kicknosway, poetry by Cole Swensen and Norman Dubie, as well as new work by poets from Hawai‘i and from across America.

The art consists of a portfolio of Hawai‘i photographs by New Englander David Ulrich, who remarks on his vision of the Hawaiian islands in “Hawai‘i: Landscape of Transformation.”

About the editors: David M. Roskies currently heads the Department of Language and Literature at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Darlaine Māhealani MuiLan Dudoit is the managing editor of MĀNOA. Born and raised in Hawai'i, she is of Chinese-Hawaiian-English-Irish-Portuguese-French ancestry.


“When Okonkwo committed suicide
We refused to touch the body
That was impure. Left it to
The Vultures and Crows
Carry on with the Pacification Rites,
And we drove on to the hills of Taworakawa
And Rewai, where sidelong lofty glances
Were cast at the now emptied fields,
And at men that groped along the veins of
Rivers that flow back” 
—from “Pacification Rites” by Russell Soaba

“Although the mad governor of South Merdeka had been dead for over 40 years—he had hanged himself when he was finally apprehended; hanging allegedly tenderized the flesh; his tenderized corpse had been fed to the flesh-eating animals in the South Merdeka zoo, in mock application of his rehabilitation program—the stigma of cannibalism continued to brand his state, & all those who lived there. Or came from there. Especially if they were old enough to have voted him into office, & to have lived during the decade & a half when he passed the legislation that forced people to ‘Eat Their Own.’” 
—from “Merdeka Forever” by Ursule Molinaro

The fall 1990 issue features new writing from Korea, collected by distinguished guest editor Kim Uchang. In his essay, “Art and Politics in Korea,” Uchang discusses the authors featured in this issue and offers readers his own view of Korean writing. Included in this issue are fiction and poetry pieces by Kim Chaewon, So Chongin, Kim Chiha, and Paek Musan.

Also included are works by American poets James McCorkle, Arthur Sze, and Ai; a candid interview with Ai by Hawai‘i writer Lisa Erb; and stories by fiction writers Monica Wood, Michelle Cruz Skinner, and Gladys Swan.

The visual art in this issue was created by Australian Aboriginal artist Jimmy Pike, who tells stories with his screenprints and whose own fascinating life story is outlined by Nadine Amadio.

Guest editor Kim Uchang is a literary critic and editor of the quarterly World Literature (Seoul). Formerly the director of Korea University Press in Seoul, he is now a professor of English at Korea University.


"I want to stop talking about the dinner table and reminisce about those long winter evenings when we used to go out to the shed to fetch dong-chi-mi.My sister and I would swim through the dark with a candle or lamp, carrying a big tin pot. Darkness would rush under the light like a whirlwind, and our shadows would take on huge weird shapes and then disappear. I remember the smell that hit us when we opened the door to the shed, the smell of humid straw, which mingled with that of kimchi in a strange mixture."
—from “Winter Shadows: A Woman Preparing a Meal” by Kim Chaewon

"It was the hungry season. The divers now went for the catches from the sea. They needed other things than wild herbs to eat. Also, they needed millet, for which they traded whatever they could catch from the sea. So, on this day when the sea was calm, the divers went to the sea. When they were changing into their work suits in preparation for going underwater, they heard somebody among them shout at the top of her voice, 'Look at that! Look at those sons of bitches! They're at their stinking thievery again!'”
—from “Substance and Shadow” by Hyon Kilon

"Some time ago a friend of mine who had just had his translation of modern Korean stories published in Paris told me that his French friends mainly noticed the extreme grimness of the stories in his anthology, not the kind of quality one likes to find in stories from a remote and exotic corner of the world. I remember some years ago a reviewer of Korean poetry in English translation noting, in a similar vein, the cold and ice that seemed to fill the modern Korean poetic sensibility. The Korean winter is cold enough, but the coldness noted was largely spiritual.
    "These extreme qualities do not by themselves constitute a necessary condition either for good or bad art, though they may not be to some people's taste. Literature is in fact no stranger to the dark side of life."
—from "Art and Politics in Korea" 
by Kim Uchang

200 pp., spring 1990 (2:1), $20
ISSN 1045-7909

216 pp., fall 1990 (2:2), $20
ISSN 1045-7909