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 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 of a novel she considered too personal to be published while she was alive.
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Towards Another Summer based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
¿I wonder, Grace thought. I¿m glad I¿m not like those dressmaker¿s dummies whose heads are built in the shape of a cage, or my thoughts would fly out through the bars.¿ (Towards Another Summer, Janet Frame, from page 125.) Janet Frame is a writer¿s writer. Toward Another Summer is a beautifully written book of rare quality...a diamond in the rough, I suppose...a classic, for sure...a book that I would call a human document. Her generous use of language has its roots in the ordinary, but is magical how the story maintains a life of its own. Although it seems nothing happens in a physical sense of happening, everything that does happen happens internally; it is intense and very personal, her self-awareness is honest, the emotions deeply felt, unsettled, disconcerting. The reality of the inner life of a writer, the anxieties and fantasies, the wealth of memory... she is a migratory bird, flying toward another summer, looking for a safe place to land...to write...but a writer with writer¿s block does not know where that will be or when. The loneliness of the solitary life, yet the reluctance to leave behind the familiar, her homesickness for New Zealand and homesickness for her typewriter are keenly felt...homesickness for not just home, but within her skin...sometimes it's a challenge living within one's own skin. There are several pages that I've marked to revisit because the powerful passages are precious. Janet Frame considered this novel to be too personal to publish during her lifetime, but she left no specific instructions about her wishes regarding the two bound copies of the typed manuscript preserved in two locations to keep them safe. I¿m glad that the Janet Frame Literary Trust shepherded it into the light, it¿s a book for writers, and a book for readers of writers.