Sunday, May 26, 2013

Janet Frame on front page of New York Times Book Review

Janet Frame features on the cover of this weekend's New York Times Book Review together with her Australian contemporary the Nobel prize winner Patrick White.

Janet Frame's posthumous collection of stories Between My Father and the King (known by the title Gorse is Not People in New Zealand) is reviewed alongside a review of Patrick White's posthumously published The Hanging Garden.

It's extraordinary to be given this Page 1 position in the influential NYTBR and the gesture can be taken as a mark of respect for these two great antipodean authors.

Nicholas Birns of the Antipodes Journal's blog Reading Across the Pacific notes that both reviews, unusually for "material about Australian/New Zealand literature published in US outlets" address the social and political background of both authors' works (including the New Zealand welfare state in Frame's case, and the Australian stolen generation issue in White's). Birns adds:

"One also likes the sense that two writers who did all their work in the twentieth century, who, in other words, are not the latest thing, are being honored, as classics of world literature."

 Read the review of Janet Frame's stories here and of Patrick White's novel  here.

But wait, there's more!
The Boston Globe reviews Janet Frame

Don't miss this tremendous review also appearing in the States this Memorial Weekend, featuring in The Boston Globe. It is one of the pithiest and most perceptive reviews that I have seen of the posthumous stories, and it shows a sophisticated understanding of Frame's abilities and achievements:

"A groundbreaking author, original in language and subject matter, astute at revealing hypocrisy and brutality, particularly as it arose in lives of women and marginalized people like the patients she encountered during her stays in psychiatric wards."

"Frame’s is an acute vision, attuned to the full spectrum of human experience. The kingdom of her spacious imagination is fully displayed in this collection." 

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