Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Of Gorse it's a bestseller

I have to admit being amazed at seeing Janet Frame's Gorse is Not People at #10 on the list of the Top Ten books sold on New Zealand's online bookstore The Nile.co.nz (4 September 2012).

The Top Ten list includes all genres including international blockbusters (no surprises at the first three books on the list: they all have the words "Fifty Shades" in their titles) and the local blokey books such as "Hunter from the Heartland" that were heavily promoted for Father's Day on Sunday, plus the latest cookbooks always guaranteed to be gobbled up as hungrily by the book buyers as the recipes they contain. And then they'll need the latest fad diet book!

And along with all those understandably popular titles, there is the gorgeous Gorse - a brand new collection of beautifully written, wise and witty and deeply compassionate and human stories from a late great Kiwi author. The writing is accessible and will appeal to a wide audience, but the literary quality doesn't suffer - could this become an instant classic? Maybe it is too soon to say, but from my point of view it is very gratifying to see such evidence that there is still an eager audience for new work by Janet Frame.

Gorse is Not People is riding high also at #3 on the latest Nielsen Bookscan's NZ Fiction for Adults Bestseller List (week ending 25 August 2012). Gorse has spent five weeks on that list so far, and that's a tremendous achievement when you consider that Gorse has not been made available at all the outlets that contribute to the Bookscan data. (For instance, most of the other books on the bestseller list are on sale at the bulk barn The Warehouse, but Gorse is not on the shelves there.)

But wait, there's more - Janet Frame is this week placed at #10 on the the Indie Top 20 list of all books sold at New Zealand's independent booksellers (week ending 25 August 2012). This list is also supplied by Nielsen Bookscan and covers all genres including international schlockbusters, children's books, recipe books and sports biographies.

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