Monday, March 31, 2014

A Great Kiwi Classic - new edition

"The best book ever written by a New Zealander" ~ Jane Campion
Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame
Introduced by Margaret Drabble
May 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

An emphasis on highbrow literature

The Janet Frame Estate's magnificent literary agent Andrew Wylie was interviewed last year for New Republic (7 October 2013). They called him "the reigning king of the backlist" and note that "his distaste for commercial fiction" is "legendary".

"It might seem that Wylie’s single-minded emphasis on highbrow literature would have made him an early casualty of the turmoil in book publishing. Instead, he has thrived—throughout the rise of the mega-bookstores, the emergence of Amazon, and the e-book turf war over digital rights and royalties."

The Wylie Agency's client list is staggering: as you start at the beginning of the alphabet, you notice the procession of great and good names, alive and dead. The estates! For instance, the Diane Arbus Estate, J.G. Ballard Estate, Jorge Luis Borges Estate,  Saul Bellow Estate, Roberto BolaƱo Estate, Joseph Brodsky Estate, William Burroughs Estate, Italo Calvino Estate, Raymond Carver Estate... And the sparks fly impressively, right until the end of the list.

Some quotable quotes from the man himself:

"Unless you’re a terribly bad writer, you are never going to have too many readers."

"The Frankfurt Book Fair is my idea of heaven."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Charles and Janet at DWRF 2014

Dear Charles, Dear Janet

Graphic: Otago Daily Times
Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival 2014
A portrait of the growth of the friendship between legendary Dunedinites Janet Frame and Charles Brasch using their own words written to and about each other: correspondence, poems, diary and memoir. This scripted reading premiered as ‘Can You Hear Me, Whangaparaoa?’  in front of a full house at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival in 2009 and is presented in Dunedin for the first time courtesy of the Janet Frame Literary Trust.

 “This was such a clever idea - a programme of readings from unpublished correspondence between two towering NZ literary figures, Janet Frame and Charles Brasch… Well done whomever it was that came up with this idea.” (Graham Beattie)

 “This was a fabulous glimpse into the lives of Janet Frame and Charles Brasch, and certainly highlighted the mischievous sense of humour of Janet! I felt I came away with a real taste of the characters of these remarkable individuals.” (Vanda Symon) 

“It was an original and moving tribute, attended by a big crowd. Brasch’s and Frame’s voices came strongly down the years; some things have changed, some are the same. Brasch writing to Frame that “bulldozers on Waiheke sounds like sacrilege” is all too familiar, but Frame’s description of Brasch as having “discipline instead of marrow in his bones” could not be applied to too many people now.”  (Christchurch City Libraries Blog)
FREE Door entry  |  Saturday 10 May  |  Dunningham Suite, Dunedin Public Library  |  1pm-1.45pm