Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A private glimpse of reality Hilary Mantel witnesses the transformation of a writer from madwoman to genius - this from The Guardian.
Towards Another Summer by Janet Frame 215pp, Virago, £12.99 (Random House in NZ & Aust)
This is the story of a writer's weekend. It's not a lost weekend - alcoholic obliteration and the romance of failure - but a weekend of self-recovery and breakthroughs, a spectacular 48 hours that changed the course of a career. It was written in 1963 and is now getting its first publication posthumously. Its content and imagery show its intimate relation to Janet Frame's three volumes of memoir, which have become widely known through Jane Campion's celebrated film An Angel at My Table. Frame's haunting and powerful trilogy is one of the greatest of autobiographies, an account of the upbringing of a writer who - partly from choice - put on the inmate's smock of a madwoman, and who discovered just in time her real identity as a genius. This is where, it seems, her great work of memory began to take shape: London 1963, the frigid end of winter.
Read the rest of this thoughtful and apprecaitive review at The Guardian online.
How pleasing it is to see the extent of the serious review coverage being given to this title in the U.K. press.