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Books about ‘real-life situations’

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 9, 2009) – Two novels by a Papua New Guinean author will be launched at the National Library at Waigani next Wednesday.

The books, Innocent But Responsible and Guilty But Optimistic – Never Give Up, published by Bradwin Publishers, were written over 10 years by Feglsey Risapi, a teacher by profession who works with the curriculum development and assessment division of the Education Department.

Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane will launch the books.

Mr. Risapi said the novels were about real-life situations, such as problems with paying school fees, competing with countless other students for limited places in the next level of education and adapting to changes in a developing country.

Innocent But Responsible is the story of the author’s life, growing up in a village in the Highlands, with parents who were subsistence farmers and unable to pay school fees.

The book talks about how he, at a very young age, had to work to pay his way through school.

"It is a story that many Papua New Guinean children in rural areas go through, the hardships when parents cannot afford to pay school fees, the challenges they face and the need to work to pay for their own fees," Mr. Risapi said.

"This was what I had to do. I realised it was my life that would be adversely affected, not theirs.

"It was what gave me the determination to work and pay for fees on my own. Thus, the title."

Risapi worked at a coffee plantation to pay his way through primary school and worked at a mission station to pay his way through high school.

Guilty But Optimistic – Never Give Up tells about a relationship between Mita, an optimistic, village-raised girl who reaches for a better future, and Beom, a pessimistic urban boy who believes that goals are unattainable.

Mr Risapi said the main points of the novels were about personal development, taking ownership of studies and addressing challenges.

The readership targets are upper primary and lower and upper secondary school students

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