“Pip is my story”
Cross-Fertilising Narratives in Lloyd Jones’s Mister Pip
In Mister Pip (2006), New Zealander writer Lloyd Jones transfers Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations to Papua New Guinea. Through a skilful play of metanarrative cross-references, Jones gives lifeblood back to the Victorian text while creating a new artistic work in which the 19th century enters into a dialogue with contemporary times offering its reader a modern ‘female’ Bildungsroman. This paper explores how Great Expectations turns out to be instrumental for the growth of Matilda, Jones’s main character, and for the development of the plot in a way that invites us to reflect on the imaginative power of literature and the unpredictable nature of its consequences in the world outside literary fiction.