19 Mar 2017

Novelist Bonnie Etherington remembers her childhood in West Papua

From Standing Room Only, 2:38 pm on 19 March 2017
Bonnie Etherington

Bonnie Etherington Photo: Josh Eastwood

The Earth Cries Out

The Earth Cries Out Photo: supplied

There's been precious little fiction set in the Papua region, though Lloyd Jones' Mr Pip offered an insight into the islands' recent past. Short story and travel-writer Bonnie Etherington grew up in West Papua, and she's poured some of her memories into her first novel The Earth Cries Out. She tells Lynn Freeman that it follows the fortunes of a missionary family trying to escape the pain of a tragedy. But it also tells stories of moments in West Papua's history - from plane-crashes to the introduction of flora and fauna pests.