Friday, October 12, 2012

Frankfurt Book Fair 2012

On display in the New Zealand Pavilion at the Frankfurt Book Fair: New Zealand books translated into German, hang in alcoves suffused with exotic South Pacific aromas.

Prominent New Zealand authors Bill Manhire and Joy Cowley spoke at the opening ceremony of the Frankfurt Book Fair yesterday, where New Zealand is the 2012 Guest of Honour. It was pleasing to note that during the course of their addresses, both these cherished Kiwi writers acknowledged Janet Frame's position at the heart of New Zealand literature, and her pioneering status as a great New Zealander who broke the boundaries of these narrow 'distant' and 'invisible' shores to make her name internationally. As Joy Cowley noted, this was a feat that Janet Frame first achieved (along with some few others such as Sylvia Ashton-Warner) in the 1960s.

Bill Manhire quoted Janet Frame's ultra-short and mega-wise poem

Before I get into sleep with you
I want to have been
into wakefulness, too.

Which was an interesting counterpoint to New Zealand's theme as guest country: "While you Were Sleeping". news report

NZ Listener's Guy Somerset reports on opening day - includes MP3 of Manhire and Cowley speeches

TV3 news report on the opening

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