Saturday, October 13, 2012

These stories are all readable!

A newbie recommends Janet Frame's stories
There's a terrific review of Janet Frame's Gorse is Not People in The Timaru Courier (4 October 2012).

The review is by Andrew Tait, who starts by admitting that he has "never read anything by Janet Frame before."
"While this means I cannot draw comparisons, the advantage is that I can provide a recommendation for other newbies. And these stories certainly deserve recommendation." 
As with many New Zealanders who have been influenced by an unfortunately widespread negative indoctrination concerning their tallest literary poppy, Tait had been fearful that the Janet Frame stories "would be too literary, or too experimental and that I would struggle to keep track of what was going on."
But, as with almost any general reader who actually opens a Janet Frame book to see for themselves instead of listening to the academic and industry gatekeepers who have insisted that Frame is too "difficult", Tait discovered that "while there are many layers and levels to the stories, they all had a clear narrative that was enjoyable for itself." 
"Frame is a masterful short story writer. Her stories are short, crisp and distinct. The narrative draws you on from page to page."
"for Frame, and perhaps for all of us if we are honest, life is a hard thing... Even the simple tale of a retirement gift contains a bitterness and savagery I had not expected.
This is, I suppose, what makes Frame a cut above ordinary writers."

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