Temple for Story
Prizewinning author Lloyd Jones — whose novel Mister Pip made the Booker shortlist in 27 — has established the Bougainville Library Trust in Arawa, Papua New Guinea, enabling locals to fundraise and build their own community library. Jones calls it a “temple for story”. The library plans to stock 15, books. Selecting titles is a delicate task, Jones says. “The first thing people often want to do is donate books,” he reflects, “But often those books are discards … fourth-hand, fifth-hand stuff — you know, The Life and Times of Donald Trump. Hopelessly inappropriate.” Jones, whose own next novel, Hand Me Down World, is scheduled for publication in Britain in October, says the trick is finding easy-to-read titles that manage to be both “low literacy and high content”. The library is also looking for picture books of quality, the kind that can engage with the imaginations of readers without using too many words, “and other than that, just really terrific books”. Andrew Adamson is to direct a film adaptation of Mister Pip, which will be shot in Australia.