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".

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Janet gets a Brazilian

... and a Norwegian.

Copies of the latest two translations of Towards Another Summer have arrived on my desk this week.

RUMA A OUTRO VERAO ~ Editora Planeta, Brasil

MOT EN NY SOMER - Forlaget Oktober

To my knowledge this is the first Brazilian edition of a Janet Frame novel.

Inside the front cover of the Norwegian edition, some of the glittering reviews for Towards Another Summer are quoted:

Grace Cleave we love you

A love story for Valentine's Day - a pile of the different editions and translations so far, of Janet Frame's novel TOWARDS ANOTHER SUMMER, first published just over two years ago in Australia, then New Zealand, then in 2008 in the UK, and in 2009 in the USA. The first four of the translations have been published already. There's also a 'talking book', produced by Bolinda.

Janet Frame has brought her character Grace Cleave alive and Grace has resonated deeply with many readers. Does she have Asperger's Syndrome? Or is she just a sensitive artist? That argument will never be settled - but one thing is clear, Grace has become real to many readers, and she speaks to them with an authentic and lovable voice, and with a humorous light touch too, and with a knowing irony, of homesickness, of loneliness, and of longing. And of coming to know who you are and where you belong.

Monday, February 8, 2010

NZ poetry alive and kicking

More good news concerning a 2009 Janet Frame laureate: poet Geoff Cochrane will at the 2010 NZ International Arts Festival launch a brand new book of poems: The Worm in the Tequila (Victoria University Press 2010).

The launch of the Geoff Cochrane volume will take place along with another eagerly awaited event: the launch of Bill Manhire's new work The Victims of Lightning.

Highly acclaimed poet Bill Manhire was of course the co-editor of Janet Frame's best-selling posthumous volume The Goose Bath (2006) which went on to win the Montana Poetry Prize for 2007.

This marvellous party will take place on the 11th of March at 6 pm at the Adam Art Gallery.

There's a third book to be launched that evening, and believe it or not, there's a Janet Frame connection with the third poet too: Kate Camp, who was a special guest last August at the Oamaru launch of the Friends of the Janet Frame House, will on the 11th of March be launching her fourth poetry collection.

Alison Wong in French Translation

Here's the cover of the French translation of As the Earth Turns Silver, the debut novel by poet Alison Wong, who was the 2009 recipient of the Janet Frame award for Fiction.

Janet Frame's Brother

Janet Frame's portable Brother typewriter in the North Otago Museum.
Photograph appears on the NZ Museums website.
The typewriter was donated to the museum by Janet Frame, and is the very machine on which she wrote all three volumes of her autobiography.