The New York Times
Towards Another Summerby Janet Frame
Self-styled” writer Grace Cleave has writer’s block, and her anxiety is only augmented by her chronic aversion to leaving her home, to be among people, even for five or ten minutes.” And so it is with trepidation that she accepts an invitation to spend a weekend away from London in the north of England. Once there, she feels more and more… See more details below
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Self-styled” writer Grace Cleave has writer’s block, and her anxiety is only augmented by her chronic aversion to leaving her home, to be among people, even for five or ten minutes.” And so it is with trepidation that she accepts an invitation to spend a weekend away from London in the north of England. Once there, she feels more and more like a migratory bird, as the pull of her native New Zealand makes life away from it seem transitory. Grace longs to find her place in the world, but first she must learn to be comfortable in her own skin, feathers and all.
From the author of the universally acclaimed An Angel at My Table comes an exquisitely written novel of exile and return, homesickness and belonging. Written in 1963 when Janet Frame was living in London, this is the first publication of a novel she considered too personal to be published while she was alive.
The New York Times
New Zealander Grace Cleave is a writer living in London. Single, 30, and introverted, she copes dreamily with the outside world, her grasp of reality tenuous at best. When she accepts an invitation to spend the weekend with an acquaintance, Philip, and his wife, Anne, she is hoping that the trip will be good for both her and her stalled novel. But from the outset, she is plagued by regrets, fears, terrible self-consciousness, and the conviction that she has turned into a migratory bird. Each step of the painful weekend-the uncomfortable train ride, the awful surprise that Philip has children, the anxiety about when to go to bed, when to awaken, and what to say in the meantime-triggers childhood memories of New Zealand and the many "shifts" her family made for her father's railroad job. Past and present, self and other, animal and human-all become a poetic tangle in Grace's mind. Frame (An Angel at My Table) wrote this novel in 1963. Now, published five years after her death, this work holds up perfectly, speaking to anyone who has ever felt isolated and different.
Praise for Janet Frame
“In this deeply personal novel of exile and loneliness, Janet Frame proves the master of nostalgia, beauty, and loss. Frame is, and will remain, divine.”
"Like every writer worth remembering, Frame exploitsor creates on the page, to be absolutely puristic about ither peculiar sensibility, her private window into the universal." The New York Times Book Review
"Frame has been compared with Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf. I am more often reminded of Jean Rhys, similarly distanced from her homeland in the West Indies, with an artistic viewpoint that may seem skewed by its own sensitivity but is, in fact, courageously clear-sighted." Telegraph (London)
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