Monday, February 22, 2010

New US paperback

Counterpoint Press published the hardback of Janet Frame's posthumous novel Towards Another Summer early last year, and it received a terrific review in the New York Times in May 2009.

This exquisite novel, written in London in 1963, continues to find appreciative and enthusiastic new readers, and it's a great pleasure to announce the first American paperback edition (pictured above), also from Counterpoint.

The Virago hardback edition published in 2008 received glowing reviews in the UK and after several reprints was quickly followed by the paperback edition, which has also been through several reprints. Virago are shortly to issue a mass market paperback for the UK and Canada.

The first edition of the novel was published in Australia in October 2007, followed by the New Zealand edition.

It's ironic that this novel - tossed off while Frame was suffering writer's block while writing the longer work The Adaptable Man - is increasingly being recognised as a small masterpiece. Frame had been under considerable pressure from her UK publisher at the time, to produce a 'bestseller'. The Adaptable Man emerged eventually as a perplexing parody of a conventional novel. As NZ academic Karl Stead commented, rather than toeing the party line and trying to make her work more "palatable" by dumbing it down, Frame "planted landmines everywhere in those bogus English fields". And as we now now, midway through that achievement, she produced this almost perfect piece of crystalline prose.

As Man Booker prize winner Hilary Mantel declared in the Guardian (July 2008), Towards Another Summer "is no literary curiosity, but a deeply rewarding and beautiful novel".

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