Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Best Bookshops: Parsons

There is the Parsons Bookshop on Wellesley Street in Auckland, specialising in Fine Art Books: Art, Photography, Architecture, Fashion, Design books and Exhibition catalogues - and also with a reliably excellent supply of NZ, Maori and Pacific books.

There is also the Parsons Bookshop on Lambton Quay in Wellington, specialising in Music - and again, with a great range of the best books available.

You'll always find a good selection of Janet Frame books at both these CBD independent bookshops, and many other worthy finds besides.

I am on the mailing list of the Auckland store and was delighted a few days ago to see in their latest newsletter that they were featuring Janet Frame in Her Own Words on their list of CHRISTMAS BOOKS. Yay!

The founder of the original Parsons Bookshop in Wellington, Roy Parsons, was a generous and influential advocate of  Janet Frame's work. She was deeply grateful for his support and of course she wasn't alone in appreciating his enormous contribution to the literary and cultural life of New Zealand.

NZ's Bookman Graham Beattie recently blogged a heartwarming and informative post in memory of Roy Parsons, that tells his story well.

Graham mentions the periodical Parsons Packet (1947-1955) for which Roy and Nan Parsons commissioned reviews and articles from writers.

One of those writers was Janet Frame, who wrote a review of a William Faulkner novel for the Oct-Dec 1955 issue of Parsons Packet. Her review 'Choked with Characters' is reprinted for the first time in Janet Frame In Her Own Words!

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