Sunday, November 17, 2013

"It’s one to read, keep close, and then read again, and again."

"It’s one to read, keep close, and then read again, and again."
~  NZ Lawyer (18 October 2013)

This is, I think, the first review of Janet Frame's fable The Mijo Tree. And it comes from outside the New Zealand literary world, and from someone who hasn't read Janet Frame before.

"I wasn’t aware of Janet Frame before reading this novella. The story often brought me close to tears and this before even casting my eyes upon the afterword that explains the reasons for recently publishing this secret work."

I'm always so glad to hear the response from someone who reads Janet Frame before being told what to think about her. I do not think Frame needs to be explained or interpreted. That's why when I was persuaded - reluctantly - to provide a commentary for this glittering fable, I insisted on it appearing as an optional afterword.

For any readers who may have already been exposed to the sexist and patronising narratives that have dominated Frame's story for so long, I do hope my essay encourages them to approach her work with fresh eyes, without preconceptions, and take it at face value.

For Frame's fans, I do hope you enjoy this last wonderful treat!

Published: 23/10/2013
Format: Hardback, 96 pages
RRP: $25.00
Origin: New Zealand
Imprint: Penguin
Publisher: Penguin NZ

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