Author(s): Lloyd Jones
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2007
Winner of the Montana Medal for Fiction 2007
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2007
Winner of the Kiriyama Writers' Prize 2008
Lloyd Jones' new novel is set mainly in a small village on Bougainville, a country torn apart by civil war.
Matilda attends the school set up by Mr Watts, the only white man on the island. By his own admission he's not much of a teacher and proceeds to educate the children by reading them Great Expectations. Matilda falls in love with the novel, strongly identifying with Pip. The promise of the next chapter is what keeps her going; Pip's story protects her from the horror of what is happening around her - helicopters menacing the skies above the village and rebel raids on the ground. When the rebels visit the village searching for any remaining men to join their cause, they discover the name Pip written in the sand and instigate a search for him. When Pip can't be found the soldiers destroy the book. Mr Watts then encourages the children to retell the story from their memories. Then when the rebels invade the village, the teacher tells them a story which lasts seven nights, about a boy named Pip, and a convict . . .
Also available as an eBook
Winner of Commonwealth Writers' Prize and Kiriyama Prize for Fiction (New Zealand) and Montana Medal for Fiction 2007 (New Zealand). Short-listed for Man Booker Prize.
`Sad, beautiful, poignant, moving and honest, this is a remarkable book.' * Good Book Guide * * London Review of Books *
`A novel about reading and writing and their impact on people's lives that can be read with pleasure by someone who has never known the power of Charles Dickens, or Great Expectations, and still make them hunger for more. . . Its fable-like quality is spellbinding; the depth of its insights compelling.' * Canberra Times *
`Lloyd Jones brings to life the transformative power of fiction ... The experience of reading in this book is tangible ...This is a beautiful book, It is tender, multi-layered and redemptive' -- Lucy Atkins * Sunday Times *
`Jones tactfully handles the confrontation between Mr Watts and Matilda's mother, aware that the mesmeric qualities of literature can be dangerous as well as redemptive. Only through Great Expectations does Matilda learn to see grown-ups as they really are. Morally subtle, Mister Pip has none of the arid cleverness that mars novels about books, making it a worthy winner of this year's Commonwealth Writers' Prize.' -- Jonathan Beckman * Daily Mail *
`A little Gauguin, a bit of Lord Jim, the novel's lyricism evokes great beauty and great pain.' * Kirkus Reviews *
`This prizewinning novel by New Zealand author Jones is an eloquent homage to the power of storytelling.' -- Joanne Wilkinson * STARRED Review, Booklist *
`As compelling as a fairytale-beautiful, shocking and profound.' -- Helen Garner
`For so brutal a reminder of atrocities so close to home, this is still an oddly satisfying book that goes on resonating long after you get to the end.' -- Kerryn Goldsworthy * Sydney Morning Herald *
'Jones' epigraph is Umberto Eco's "Characters migrate". They do. Read this novel and Mr Watts, and perhaps Matilda, will migrate instantly into your heart.' -- Helen Elliott * Age *
`Matilda is in the tradition of Holden Caulfield and Huck Finn, conjuring up an adult world before she can fully understand it; and Mister Pip is a poignant and impressive work which can take its place alongside the classic novels of adolescence.' * Times Literary Supplement *
`New Zealand writer Lloyd Jones's spare, haunting fable explores the power and limitations of art...' * Washington Post *
`One of the best books of the year! Poetic, heartbreaking, surprising. Matilda is a young girl in Bougainville, a tropical island where the horror of civil war lurks. Mr. Watts, the only white person, is the self appointed teacher of the tiny school where the only textbook is the Dickens novel Great Expectations. Storytelling, imagination, courage, beauty, memories and sudden violence are the main elements of this extraordinary book.' -- Isabel Allende
Lloyd Jones is one of New Zealand's best known contemporary writers. He has published essays and children's books but his best known works include the novels The Book of Fame, winner of numerous literary awards, Biografi, a New York Times Notable Book, Choo Woo, Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance, Paint Your Wife, Hand Me Down World and the phenomenally successful Mister Pip, winner of the 2007 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Montana Medal for Fiction and the Kiriyama Writers' Prize. Mister Pip was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007. He lives in the Wairarapa.