THE halcyon days of Papua New Guinean literature just prior to independence were dependent upon three factors: the emergence of talented writers; an atmosphere that nourished their aspirations; and the availability of mainly Australian publishing houses.
When PNG achieved independence, Australian interest in it began to wane. It was similar to what happens when a beloved child reaches adulthood and strikes out on its own. The fondness remained but the support structure fell away.
The same happened to PNG’s writers: their support structure disappeared virtually overnight and there was nothing available to replace it. They were cast adrift to look after themselves.