Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What they were saying (NYT 1982)

1982 New York Times review of To The Is-Land (Janet Frame's first volume of autobiography):

"Janet Frame, the author of 10 highly regarded novels and a volume of poetry, knows how to avoid the pitfalls of memory and keep her tale eventful."

"It is a wistful tale, honestly and believably told, of the puzzling encounters of childhood, the recognitions, the gain and the loss."

"The story ends with a lonely, troubled girl traveling ''south on the Sunday slow train to Dunedin and my Future'' -to a new Is-land, the Dunedin Teachers' College, where she would prepare to become the teacher she didn't want to be. And one closes the book aware that if one is to know Janet Frame better, hear the rest of it, one must consent to follow her on her journey to as many Is-Lands as there are. Yet this vivid first volume is in a real sense complete, satisfying not merely as Chapter One but as an account of the making of a writer from the beginning possessed by words."

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