Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's been a big year for Janet Frame

Some highlights of 2012:

(1) Janet Frame's poem 'The End' was up in lights on an electronic billboard in Times Square New York as part of a "Kiwi Poets Live in New York" outreach organised by Phantom Billstickers.

Another poem poster 'Daniel' was produced by Phantom to commemorate Frame's August 28 birthday, complete with a QR code link to a recording of Frame reading the poem.

(2) Janet Frame was 'the name on everyone's lips at the Frankfurt Book Fair' - with New Zealand the guest of honour at the 2012 book fair, 'New Zealand's Literary Queen' Janet Frame was the subject of numerous seminars, readings, film showings, book store events, and radio programmes, and a brace of quotes from her work featured in the audiovisual presentation at the New Zealand pavilion.

German publisher CH Beck issued updated hardback editions of the German translations of Owls Do Cry and An Angel at My Table in 2012, combining these with the earlier very successful hardback of Frame's posthumous novel Towards Another Summer into an attractive boxed set of three. The much loved novel Towards Another Summer was also released by book club publisher DTV as a mass market paperback to coincide with the book fair.

Also in Germany, a translation of Janet Frame's work featured in Neuseeland erzählt - an excellent representative anthology of the best of New Zealand writing released by German Publisher Fischer Verlag. And there was an article on Frame in a NZ guide book published by Mana Verlag.

(3) Publication in New Zealand of Gorse is Not People: Unpublished and Uncollected Stories by Janet Frame was welcomed and the book was acclaimed by reviewers as "delightful" and a "valuable and worthy addition" to Frame's oeuvre, and has so far featured on the Nielsen Bookscan NZ Fiction top ten bestseller list for over four months. This endearing collection of stories has also been sold to publishers in the USA and Australia and will be released in those countries in 2013.

(4) The Janet Frame estate delivered to our literary agent Andrew Wylie one last unpublished novel (to our knowledge this is the only remaining complete Frame novel that Frame didn't destroy) and we were thrilled with the eager response from publishers. In the Memorial Room has been sold to Text Publishing for Australia and New Zealand and Counterpoint for the US territories, and will be published in 2013.

(5) A selection of recordings of Janet Frame reading her poems was added to Andrew Motion's highly regarded UK Poetry Archive.

(6) Ongoing translations included: Swedish publisher Modernista published several Janet Frame back list titles. Dutch publisher De Geus was among several around the world who issued e-books of Frame's work. Further Janet Frame translations were released in Turkey and Italy as well as the earlier mentioned Germany and the Netherlands.

(7) Several individual Janet Frame stories were published: 'The Plum Tree and the Hammock' appeared in Zoetrope, 'Between My Father and the King' in the Manchester Review, 'The Painter' in the Sunday Star-Times, and 'My Last Story' was recommended by Etgar Keret in Electric Literature's Recommended Reading.

(8) Negotiations were finalised with UK production company Sweet Talk for a BBC radio adaptation of Janet Frame's autobiography, which has now been recorded and will air from January 2013.

(9) In the UK, Virago reprinted their Virago Modern Classic paperback edition of An Angel at My Table (2010 edition) twice, and Virago's paperback of Towards Another Summer (2009 edition) also had a substantial new reprint.

(10) Sales and negotiations continued regarding translations in numerous territories including: Germany, Italy, Russia, Romania, Poland, Mexico, South Korea and the Czech Republic.

(11) An official Janet Frame Facebook page was recently established.

(12) A quote from a Janet Frame poem appeared on a new public art work named 'The Trestle Leg Series' installed under Auckland's Harbour Bridge, and a large portrait of Janet Frame appears in a new mural in a lane off Dunedin's Octagon.

 (13) The exquisitely designed Janet Frame in Her Own Words (Penguin 2011) won the Hachette New Zealand Award for the Best Non-illustrated Book at the 2012 PANZ Book Design Awards. Janet Frame in Her Own Words was also shortlisted for Best Cover. The designer of the book and the cover was the very talented Anna Egan-Reid.

(14) Dunedin's newly refurbished and renamed Toitū Otago Settlers Museum has been opened to the public. Among the impressive new displays is a wall panel celebrating Janet Frame as one of the prominent authors associated with Dunedin.

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