The Crocodile Prize Anthology 2014, Phil Fitzpatrick (ed), $US13.50 (postage c $6.00), 512 pages, obtain from Amazon here
THE Crocodile Prize, now in its fourth year, is the annual literary contest of Papua New Guinea.
It offers a variety of awards for short stories, essays and poetry, the best of which are published in an annual Anthology.
The 2014 Anthology at more than 500 pages is the biggest yet and the quality of the writing the best we've seen from this 7 million strong South Pacific nation.
The poetry especially is world class and the essays and journalism pull few punches about what needs to be done to set the country to rights.
Editor Phil Fitzpatrick has done a fine job of selecting the contents and, once again, provides a fascinating Foreword analysing how events in this resource rich nation are influencing an emerging creative writing culture.
He also profiles the 70 contributors and provides the judges' citations for the winning entries.
The organisers of the Crocodile Prize should take a bow. Their efforts have resulted in the encouragement of some very talented writers and what they have to say makes for great reading.
If you want to understand present day Papua New Guinea and be richly entertained at the same time, this is the book for you. A great gift too.