Read Towards Another Summer by Janet Frame Online


“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 pu“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....

Title : Towards Another Summer
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781582434766
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Towards Another Summer Reviews

  • Mariel
    2019-03-12 06:04

    Nothing is simple if your mind is a fetch-and-carry wanderer from sliced perilous outer world to secret safe inner world; if when night comes your thought creeps out like a furred animal concealed in the dark, to find, seize, and kill its food and drag it back to the secret house in the secret world, only to discover that the secret world has disappeared or has so enlarged that it's a public nightmare."Towards Another Summer was a novel that Janet Frame wrote in the 1960s. Biographical and not published until 2007, after her death. I am only making assumptions, of course, because I have not (yet) read her memoirs and other autobiographical works. Frame wrote about being buried in eight years of a mental institution. No will of your own. Misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic, she was subjected to two hundred electric shock treatments. No mind of your own. She was scheduled for a lobotomy that was only circumvented because of the literary prizes that she had won. I feel too sad that her life was saved by literary prizes. If I were looking for a reason to say, "There! Humanity can suck so hard" that would be a contender. That she could save her own life gives me hope. There are passages from some of them that have stirred me (not to mention comments from a couple of goodreads members I respect who have written in high praise of her). I ordered already, with hope, a few of her books from online used book sellers. There are some passages from these that have made me want to read her and find out about this woman with this soul who could write like this about living like that. I don't know yet because I don't have those books. Towards Another Summer was available on ebook so I went ahead and read it. It wasn't until I started feeling this pressure on my chest, trapped in a voice of someone who consistently wishes a take back and words she didn't want to belong to her, that I went online in search of reviews to find out if anyone else felt what I did. Did anyone else feel as if they were going to get locked in this aimless step that's afraid to go inside anywhere? I found out that she had not intended the book to be published at all. It was too personal. I feel some guilt about reading it anyway, if she truly hadn't intended it to be read. I wonder if the reason why this particular book could not be read, while those other books were sent into the world, is that feeling that you're not going to be able to crawl back up this time. Crawling is good if you get somewhere. If you don't mind if anyone knows you crawled then you're doing okay in my book. Have you ever pulled yourself out of something that you don't know how you survived, only to feel so ashamed when you succumb to the same problem again? It steals from the past triumph that's your own "I did that". Maybe sometimes people need you to love them anyway, even when they don't believe that anyone could understand it. I read the rest of the book. Grace the character would have hoped for someone to notice. She would have hoped for them to lift her on their own wings and soar. Not loaned out of pity to be repaid in unmet eyes later, but like how it is okay to borrow money from family, if you have the right kind of family. She might be too afraid to find out if they were the right kind and I feel trapped there because that's something I don't like about me either. Yeah, I've written about social anxiety books before on goodreads. This one is different because the space you crawl to is the one you don't forget about later during the good days when it is easier. I have told people in my life flat out that I didn't want to get into the pain I felt over dropping out twice, that I didn't want to constantly discuss what my "next step" would be. It's worse that I avoid talking to people altogether so that they won't ask me those questions. I don't want to think about it far more than I am reluctant for anyone else to know how much I've quit. It's yourself you're afraid of. It's something about confusion and lack of "I can do that" hope. That's so much worse than social anxiety. You're going to let yourself down. It's not so hard for me now to see how a woman who could be open about those things wouldn't want to admit that it is hard to admit that you're afraid to go home. Grace is a migratory bird in her convictions. It's undecided what kind of bird (my favorite species from New Zealand are never mentioned as they never leave home). I didn't feel it in spirit that she was the feather and light as air boned specimen, and if she had blurted out to me her truth in one of her the-truth-must-be-uttered-at-least-this-once moments I would not have felt the transforming power in her desires. For me the migratory bird fantasies were the weakest of Towards Another Summer. In my book review search I was really hoping that someone would have written what I had been thinking. No one has mentioned David Grossman's The Book of Intimate Grammar (I'm rereading it as of this writing. This book is so underrated it makes me sad. I'll have to love it more and talk about it now). Young Aron is trapped in his own flesh of a twelve year old boy. Stunted under the weight of the same pressures from unmet eyes if everyone you can see is the wrong kind of family. Would you want to stay twelve in a place like that? Or worse, they'll break your bones like a debt collector when you can't pay up in what is expected of you. Aron stores up words inside of himself. Repeating and polishing them inside until they are "safe" to use and send out into the world. Trying to grow something inside his mind that breaks itself against what it resists. The transformation is a caterpillar to a cocoon. Grace's similar obsession with the meanings of words as a rug ripped out from under her reminded me a lot of Aron. Her mother warns them to stay away from the "magazine" as a dangerous place to play, only to read a periodical she refers to as the same. These words appear on the tip of Grace's tongue like a bitter pill she doesn't want to swallow. It reminded me of the way that one can purposefully hold onto a bad experience, polishing it anew when you need it to remind you not to step too close of what you're afraid of. Grace remembers every time she had ever felt out of place. Was the fault hers. You know that day when everyone else was handed out boyfriends and happy endings? You were sick that day. The dictionary had the proper definitions for what everybody REALLY meant. Too bad you had bad hair that day! (Grace, like Frame, has "bad" frizzy hair.) My heart goes out to her. I do feel what that is like. I also know the unfairness of being like this. The fondness for someone else born from the moment when you felt like you were the person that you wanted to be. Grace would feel as warmly for the person that knew what the right thing to say to her just the same as she can't breathe for fearing what will happen if the wrong thing is what she says. I feel for the person who tries to get close to her.Recently, Mike Puma wrote a review on goodreads. It was on Emmanuelle Bove's My Friends. He wrote beautifully about this feeling of moving away from home and pining for what you left behind about this book that was not about moving. He could have written that review about Towards Another Summer. I posted a comment in his review. The only thing that stopped me from doing my typical thing of deleting the comment after I posted it was his swift reply addressed to me. Grace agonizes over showing up to breakfast too early. She is afraid of children (because they stare. I've written about feeling this in past goodreads reviews, I am sure). "Yes" is preferred to "No" because the latter requires more of an explanation (in this we differ. I find that I am wholly unwilling to pretend to agree where I do not. I resent more than anything when I am pushed in the slightest after I've already said no. I wonder about Frame's time in the institution where you had not a hope of surviving if you didn't surrender your will entirely. They would have given me a lobotomy and that's that). The "crushing loneliness" is what happens to Grace. She is homesick for what she will not allow herself. She cannot enjoy the family when she visits Anne (a fellow Kiwi. Meaning New Zealander, not the bird) and her husband Phillip. Anne and Phillip's two little children. The safe age before kids become too scary, when they stare openly as if they can tear down your mental barriers, switching off all the lights that would dawn hope on your deficiencies. Grace is homesick for her home where she sits behind her protective bookcases between her and the window. They would be her barriers from the street that would have cars that would beam their headlights on all of your deficiencies. Geographically speaking, her room may not have been set up that way. I felt that her bookcases protected her. Her books, the words of poets who know her secret places as their own. She is sick for her typewriter. She begs to go home early because she is homesick for her own typewriter, for the two copies of her manuscript hidden away in the home that never once felt as welcoming as this home she has been invited to for the weekend. Please, won't you come again? Grace is homesick for New Zealand.How can I ever contain within me so much of one land? Was it given to me or have I looked for it, found it, and have I been afraid to return to it?She is homesick for where she had wandered to as a small child. That secret place she had found and relinquished once she had found it. Search and destroy.I wish that I had felt in her that she really was no longer a human. That place inside where seh believed it, as opposed to fearing that someone else would think it. To me Grace was not a migratory bird headed towards another summer. She's Aron from The Intimate Book of Grammar who was unable to perform that Houdini escape to fuck off and escape. It's cold in your fridge. I missed her New Zealand for her. I know where she is going to lay down at night. It'll be okay because of this:Grace remembered a first book by an Australian writer, how the photo on the jacket had been eager, innocent as the photo of Anne; again, it was not only the woman herself, it was her home town, her family, her life. When the writer left Australia to live in England and there published another book with her photo on the jacket, how discreet the camera had been, telling its truth through its small selective lies; freed from the narrow repressive restrictions of home town atmosphere.I loved Grace for not always being the shy person that is too busy thinking about how they are doing everything wrong that they don't notice that Anne wanted that moment to herself to buy the new sheeting. Sure, she turned it around to guilt about her own presence and Phillip's insistence to show her some sight that Anne didn't get her moment to herself. It hurt so much that the hurt became something to want to get away from. Every encounter is not worth it because of how much agony goes into dissecting everything she could have done differently. She would think that the sun wouldn't set on England again because she had moved to the country and asked a question during a dinner with this couple. My heart went out to Grace but I wouldn't have loved her if she hadn't been able to think about those secret places in New Zealand existing without her. Not for someone who must be accepted without pretenses. That's the hope of being okay anyway. She could and that's what I suspect kept her poet's soul fed. The migratory bird was just the agony. She worried if anyone would notice. No trick words from mama back in New Zealand. How her mother hoarded her own memories to herself as if sharing them with anyone would rob the memories of their power? That would make a person homesick, I think. The kind of homesick that comes from being in the right kind of family and not belonging in it. I feel so much for Grace with her homesickness for her typewriter. She's probably going to write about that kitchen. That's not being able to sleep because when you fly home it's time to be on the move again. I'm wishing that I'd find the poet that knew about the secret place, myself. Poets are the family that you can borrow from, I think.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-24 13:33

    It's lovely that we have another novel by Janet Frame. Apparently, she deemed it too personal to publish in her lifetime. Her evocation of the central character, Grace Cleave: her thoughts, anxiety, memories of childhood in New Zealand as she visits a couple and their children in Northern England...well she's brilliant at capturing consciousness as well as self-consciousness. Rich, so rich. Beautifully written.I should quote a passage or two, but don't have the book at hand--

  • Núria
    2019-03-04 06:06

    Oí hablar por primera vez de Janet Frame en la maravillosa película 'Un ángel en mi mesa' de Jane Campion, una película preciosa que se basa en la autobiografía de esta escritora neozelandesa. La película me cautivó por su tristeza y por su belleza. Pude palpar el dolor de Janet Frame. En su juventud, una depresión la diagnosticaron erróneamente como esquizofrenia y entonces pasó un largo periplo por psiquiátricos. Cuando estaban a punto de empezar con ella un tratamiento de electroshocks, uno de sus libros ganó un premio y después de esto pudo escapar. Pero su historia es también una historia de supervivencia, de conseguir salir adelante pese a todo. Y es por esto que la película es tan bella. Antes de los títulos de crédito ya intuía que Janet Frame era una escritora para mí. Sin embargo, han pasado años antes que leyera un libro suyo, en parte porque es difícil encontrar obras suyas traducidas y en parte porque tenía algo de miedo que en realidad Janet Frame no fuera para mí y si Janet Frame no era capaz de hablar de mí, ya nadie lo podría hacer. Se puede decir que durante mucho tiempo he sido fan de Janet Frame sin haber leído nada de ella, pero por fin he leído 'Hacia otro verano' y ha sido maravilloso. Se ve que Janet Frame escribió esta novela en 1963 pero rehusó publicarla en vida porque la consideraba demasiado personal, así que la guardó con cuidado durante toda su vida y se publicó póstumamente. La novela está protagonizada por Grace Cleave, una escritora neozelandesa que desde hace años reside en Londres. Una pareja la invita a pasar un fin de semana a su casa en el norte y ella, después de dudarlo mucho, acepta, pero tan punto ha dejado caer la carta en el buzón se arrepiente de haber aceptado. Grace Cleave es solitaria, introvertida y, por culpa de falta de práctica, torpe en cualquier situación social. Grace Cleave, sin prácticamente amigos, no se relaciona con nadie y vive siguiendo una rutina que es como un refugio. Es invierno y Grace Cleave, incapaz de encajar entre los humanos, siente que se ha convertido en un pájaro migratorio y empieza a añorar su Nueva Zelanda, cuando hacía tiempo que ya ni siquiera pensaba en su antiguo hogar. 'Hacia otro verano' es simplemente la narración de este fin de semana que la protagonista pasa en casa de esta pareja y sus dos hijos pequeños. Y la narración de los esfuerzos, dificultades y pequeños fracasos de Janet Frame por ser lo que se llama un animal sociable y relacionarse con sus huéspedes de "forma normal y satisfactoria" se intercala con la descripción de recuerdos de su infancia que le vienen a la memoria. Es una obra personal (por supuesto), introvertida, intimista, de una sensibilidad exquisita y una sinceridad extrema, con una atención por el detalle preciosa y un estilo poético maravilloso. Por todas estas características puede que no sea un libro para todo el mundo, pero yo he sentido que hablaba de mí como hacía tiempo que no sentía que un libro hablaba de mí. Puede costar entrar en él, pero si lo haces notarás que es un libro que te lo da todo, que te quiere con un amor sin límites. Es un libro para los que más de una vez se han sentido como unos ineptos sociales, para los solitarios que no quieren sentirse tan solos, para los introvertidos que quedan exhaustos después de un intenso intercambio social, para los tímidos que se sienten incomprendidos, para los que se sienten tristes y quieren ser reconfortados. Es magnífico.

  • Roxanne
    2019-03-18 06:19

    This is a woman who had intense self-awareness. And the pain that she felt due to this must have been overwhelming to her at times. But her book gives the most realistic description of the inner workings of a person painfully shy but at the same time part of her is in all of us. She has put into words the very minute and made them shattering and grounding at the same time.Yes - there were small sections that I had to read over again and over again. But, unlike many books with this characteristic, it was well worth the time taken to really read this book. Try not to miss a paragraph. If your mind wanders, go back and re-read it. It is worth it.Janet Frame share with us her human weaknesses. None of what she describes is abnormal or exotic. It is just simply human. How does she make this so interesting? She is so very transparent. The simplest reactions and fears of visiting a family that she does not know very well rang true. Instead of completely denying her true feelings, she gives them to us in her novel with gusto! Thank you Janet Frame and I am so glad I have discovered you.

  • Laura J. W.
    2019-03-14 09:16

    “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...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 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.

  • Christy
    2019-03-17 10:31

    In this autobiographical novel by the late highly acclaimed New Zealand writer, the invitation to go away for the weekend causes a reclusive writer, Grace Cleave, no small amount of distress. Grace's feelings of dissimilarity and disconnectedness is explained when she realizes she is a "migratory bird." Frame's exquisite language, her poetic sensibility, her psychologically rich descriptions of the currents of Grace's thoughts, the painful (and personal) rendering of social anxiety and the rootless longing for home confirms Frame's reputation and add strength to her nomination for a Nobel. The novel's weighted contemplation reminds me of Virginia Woolf. A rare find; a golden voice.

  • Tuck
    2019-03-11 08:12

    so introspective and personal author specified it could only be published posthumously. so they did. a novel about what it is like to be inside janet frame.

  • Alan
    2019-03-13 06:20

    fabulous book; autobiographical apparently, and suppressed until after the author's death. Nothing happens - an exiled writer living in London visits a New Zealand compatriot and his wife in the north of England and has lunch, stays a night, plays with their children, and goes back. And yet it is filled with power and dread as it explores the writer's fragile, depressed mind, as she feels she is not a worthy companion, unable to make witty comments or act like a writer should, make profound statements or even explain how and why she writes (there is an excruciating flashback to a BBC interview). The writer is turning into a migratory bird she feels, is out of place, disconnected. The novel follows her thoughts and stream of consciousness which is filled with childhood memories of her stiff, undemonstrative family, poems and school humiliation. The writing is exquisite. Quote will follow, when I can get back to the's a bit:Perhaps when I go to school tomorrow I shan’t be as lucky as the boy who was swallowed by the fox and rescued alive from the fox’s belly. It is dark and mysterious inside a belly. With slimy machinery moving around you and moss growing red like blood upon the walls, and bare knuckles separated from hands and fingers and floating in a green and yellow swamp; knuckles; look at my knuckles, look at my shins; over the railway line, past the clump of wild sweet peas, inside the gorse hedge is a perfect hidey-hole for any fox who wanted to swallow children on their way to school. We have a new baby. My grandma is dead.If you knew you had knuckles and shins wouldn’t you cry and cry?

  • Kyla
    2019-03-10 12:15

    An undiscovered Janet Frame book about social awkwardness? SQUEEEEEEEE!Read while on a sometimes socially awkward holiday, with hosts and small talk - but nothing like this lovely little muse on home and place and being in your skin and admonishing yourself for being uncomfortable and imperfect and everything connected to the human to human experience that so many people find so easy - Janet, I'm on your side. It ain't easy.

  • Laura
    2019-03-02 10:28

    This book was written in 1963 but was only be published after her death, according to her own wish since she considered too personal to be published when she was still alive.This book reminded with plenty of details of our visit to New Zealand in December 2009, an unforgettable trip. Page 180, fromBook of New Zealand Verse :Nem a presunçosa celebração,Ou a mais esmerada historia, pode aliviarDo descobridor a sede de elaçãoE silenciar as vozes que dizem,“Aqui é o fim do mundo, ande as maravilhas vem cessar.”Somente por uma lembrança mais exata, lançandoSobre ele a tênue da difidente Gloria,O Marinheiro vive, e ao nosso lado permanece, espalhando pela onda do nosso tempoA mancha de sangue que escreve de uma ilha a historia.Page 243, fromCome oh Maidens :Come oh maidens welcome here You in all the world most dear Sweetest voices draw you near Come oh maidens, come Gaily our canoe shall glide Flowing o'er the rolling tide Twirling pois shall lay beside 'Til we reach our home.Page 245, fromLike to the tide Deus das Nações a vossos pés,nos laços do amor nos encontramos,Escutai nossas preces, vos rogamos,Deus defendei nossa Terra livreGuardai a tripla estrela do Pacificodo peso do ódio e da guerraFazei nossas preces serem ao longe ouvidasDeus defendei a Nova Zelândia!

  • Peter
    2019-03-10 12:15

    08.12.2013 Der dritte Band autobiographischen Schreibens der Janet Frame. Als Kostbarkeit habe ich dieses Buch jetzt monatelang aufbewahrt aber jetzt ist die Zeit zur Lektüre gekommen. Ich freue mich einfach einer guten Freundin lesend wieder zu begegnen. 11.12.2013 Nur wenige Tage (wie das geschilderte Wochende) durfte ich mit Frame verbringen. Die Protagonistin oszilliert in ihren Gedanken zwischen Gegenwart, Vergangenheit und ihren zusätzlichen Gedankenströmen. Immer wieder nimmt sie für sich vorweg was ihr Gegenüber über ihre Ungenügenheiten denken wird. Ganz ohne Selbstwert wird ihr Aufenthalt zur Marter. Ich kann auch verstehen warum Frame gegen eine Veröffentlichung zu Lebzeiten war. Sie wollte gar nicht so sehr sich schützen sondern die Familie bei der sie zu Besuch weilte. Denn mit präzisem Blick schildert sie die Beziehung des Ehepaares - ohne aber die heute üblichen Peinlichkeiten. Ihr Ohr gilt den Zwischentönen. Wie wohltuend ist diese Rücksichtnahme in den Zeiten von Dschungelcamp und div. Promi-Biographien. Mit diesen wenigen Worten streife ich bestenfalls die Qualität des Textes und des Inhalts. Da gibt es noch viel mehr zu entdecken.

  • Sara
    2019-03-18 12:04

    After watching the movie made from her autobiography, I checked the library for any books by her and this was the only one, out of the 11 novels and 5 books of short stories my library carries. Published posthumously since she considered it too personal, it is apparently taken from a real-life event. Frame was one of New Zealand's most prestigious authors and won every award but had a strange life, due to her mental illness that kept her in asylums, often voluntarily, for 8 years. In the movie, she comes across as horribly shy but she was diagnosed, later retracted, as schizophrenic. This book exemplifies her shyness but at the same time, her beautiful use of language. She also published 3 books of poetry, and it shows in her word choices. Fascinating book.

  • Melanie Ford
    2019-03-11 13:18

    Dear Janet Frame,I love you, I really do. This is a wonderful book. I could start it over again right this second. No one sees the world (and writes about it) quite like Janet Frame does. I listened to the Bolinda audiobook read by Heather Bolton. There's a lyrical quality to the writing that lends itself well to being read aloud. The reading here is top notch. The whole package is something quite special.

  • Vanda
    2019-03-19 08:12

    This is the first Janet Frame novel I have read, and it left me wanting to find more of her books. Frame has an amazing use of language, and wry humour. I found myself aching on behalf of Grace Cleave, her character, in what was clearly a difficult social setting for her. Towards Another Summer was posthumously published by the Janet Frame Literary Trust. It was a good call on their behalf, as this is a terrific novel.

  • Sonia
    2019-03-04 08:19

    I approached this novel with delicacy knowing the author considered it too personal to be published while she was still alive and I was astounded by its honesty and style.It’s really touching the way Janet Frames reveals herself in this novel, her mental processes and most inner feelings, her sense of inadequacy when she is among other people, her homesickness her longings.The stream of consciousness flows skillfully while Frame tells us about a weekend she spent as a guest in a family in the north of England, recalling her childhood in New Zealand. We learn a lot about her sensitive personality, her difficulties in talking to other people, engaging in conversation, expressing her feelings through the spoken language. So ironic in a person who literally lives with and of words, this impossibility to utter them through the mouth, the need to use paper as the only means of communication. Through her memory we see how words have always influenced her since childhood when she lived among the poems and songs her parents liked to surround themselves with all the time, the peculiar, almost physical way in which her ear perceives them and her mind understands and sometimes distorts them, creating this way her own unique and personal language. I suffered with her frustrations, her desires to say things, to tell something relevant while being totally unable to do it. Even with her friends’ little children who made her feel so uneasy. I suffered with her secretly feeling like a migratory bird, not a human being like all the others, but something who is able to fly high while being alone, dreaming of another summer. Frame imagines clever conversations with her friends while all she can say are laconic “yes”, the right words only coming to her later on, while she is in her bedroom by herself, conjuring up the long speeches she is unable to perform for real. Throughout the whole weekend she is struggling to find something to tell, so to impress her guests who know her a successful writer and to be loved by them and overcome the sense of not belonging she feels when looking at them, their family dynamics and relations. Overwhelmed by all this and by the amount of memories they stir in her, in the end she decides to leave earlier and get back to her solitary London apartment and typewriter.

  • Okidoki
    2019-03-07 10:27

    Mot ännu en sommar, 2010 ISBN: 9789100121150Ingen tvekan om att Frame är en skicklig författare. Här får vi krypa under skinnet på den folkskygga Grace Cleave (ett självporträtt?), när hon tvingar sig att tacka ja till ett weekendbesök. Under besöket vandrar hennes tankar ofta bort till olika barndomsupplevelser. De är livfulla, men mycket sporadiska, sätts inte in i något sammanhang. Enskilda delar är mycket bra, men romanen som helhet är splittrad och tråkig.

  • Alison Parsons
    2019-02-18 05:18


  • Eric Hinkle
    2019-02-21 10:20

    If you're a fan of modern lit and you haven't yet read Janet Frame, you must, must do yourself the privilege! Her brain is a wonder. I've only read a few of her novels, but this is my favorite so far. This book is really a snapshot of her struggle with adjusting herself to society (after years of living in institutions, or being painfully uncomfortable around her family in New Zealand), to feeling the need to be social but the total inability to actually converse, to say more than a sentence or often just a simple Yes. Her pain and suffering is incredibly real, and she writes about it in different ways - sometimes humorously, sometimes self-deprecatingly, even despairingly. It's heartbreaking, and it truly resonates with me - it's almost shocking to see someone even shyer than I've been at certain times in my life! While the arc of the "story" itself is all over the place, from her childhood in New Zealand to her gloomy days in lonely England (“Grace was used to not being visited. There was always a flurry of it's great to know you, then disappointment that the woman who wrote books had difficulty in speaking one coherent sentence; then silence, silence.”), with god-awfully-awkward radio interviews and meetings with other writers, the main action focuses on a weekend at a new friend's house in the country, and Janet's/Grace's painful interactions with him, his wife, and his two children. Here's one moment: “Philip was silent, still looking at her, waiting, in that disconcertingly persistent manner, for Grace to speak. Why can't he understand, Grace thought, that all my words are platitudes, that when I juggle and empty out a sentence there's nothing left, no sediment of thought or imagination lies in my speech. Why does Philip wait and wait, like an old peasant at the well, for the bucketful of gold?”“Yes was Grace's favourite word; it saved so much explaining; it was more often when you said No that people demanded explanations, waited for you to speak, argued with you to prove that your No should have been Yes.”These moments mean a lot to me. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who disappoints people with my monosyllabic responses and inability to verbally speak my mind at times.Janet Frame isn't easy for me to review. It should be easy, you'd think, since I love her so much, but maybe that's why. Anyway, Janet means a lot to me, and so does this book.Here are some other brilliant moments: “Possibility was not a bag or box that could be closed and sealed, it was a vast open chute which received everything, everything; one could not choose or direct or destroy the powerful flow of possibility.”“There was no pretence now about the weather, no cheerful reminder that the sun had promised to shine, only a tacit admission that promises are strictly for people and that the weather has no conscience about the survival or extinction of the human race.”“People will always be afraid and jealous of those who finally establish their identity; it leads them to consider their own, to seclude it, cosset it, for fear it may be borrowed or interfered with, and when they are in the act of protecting it they suffer the shock of realising that their identity is nothing, it is something they dreamed and never knew; and then begins the painstaking search – what shall they choose – beast? another human being? insect? Bird?”“If she ever became a poet it was likely that she would never have the name poet – it would be 'poetess', the word which is sprayed like a weedkiller about the person and work of a woman who writes poetry – many have thus been 'put to sleep': we are assured it is painless, there is no cause to worry then – is there? An absence of pain whether or not it is accompanied by an approved death is a goal to be achieved...”“Grace went to the window of the sitting room and looked out and felt in her bones the slow thaw moving from the west, and felt her blood stop, swirl to left, to right, in order to rehearse its warm spring flowing; a porous grey raincloud moved in her head and stayed, soaking her once clear cold precise thoughts, exuding them as ragged links of silver, raindrops of vague mist.”“Grace thought, Perhaps I ought to comment on some news. Unfortunately Grace was one of those people who can become a bore and an irritation to others and an anguish to themselves because their lives are dominated by 'ought'. 'What ought I to do? Do you think I ought to –'... They refuse to let the situation rest; they must tamper with it, adjust it, change it, impose upon it their immediate concern of 'ought'. “Another encounter with people successfully concluded without screams or tears or too much confusion. I'm doing fine, she said to herself, as if she were one or two days old and had finally mastered the art of breathing.”

  • Susan Pearce
    2019-03-18 08:27

    Feb 6th: I copied the following para onto the whiteboard for my writing class yesterday, offering it as an on-the-button description of what might happen if you don't 'look sharply after your thoughts', as Emerson said. It comes towards the end of the novel, at the beginning of a chapter in which Grace has been invited to view her host's office in the attic:She sat before Philip's huge desk, considering the drawers and pigeonholes crammed with papers...How could he dare to give a stranger permission to enter this room! Or was this room not the repository of his secrets? Perhaps he himself had no access to his treasures; perhaps he hoarded them elsewhere without ever recognising them; perhaps he discarded them one by one without ever having known them?There were several passages like this one, that made me stop and wish to commit them to memory. Now, of course, I can't really remember what they were about...there's one that describes the subtley shifting expressions on Philip's face as (she surmises) his feelings change. I particularly enjoyed the chapters that deal with the book's present moment, in the cold northern city that Grace is visiting. But those chapters act as coat hangers for the chapters about childhood memories, and after a while, wonderfully evocative as they are, those representations of memory seem somewhat self-indulgent & not to fill any larger purpose in the narrative. Jan 26th: Having finished Patrick Evan's Gifted, I picked up Towards Another Summer again and took it on our camping trip to the Whangaparoa Peninsula. I bought it when it came out but, at the time, wasn't in tune with Frame despite having loved her writing since first reading her at 20. Evans's wonderful novel has helped, and possibly so have my experiences over the last 18 months. Camping didn't leave much time for reading so I'm still less than halfway through: oh, also, I temporarily put it aside, in the tent, for the more easily accessible stories in The Return by Roberto Bolano. (Must note here that Gifted is still burning in my consciousness.)Side note: I read the first few paras of Pride and Prejudice on my new Kindle (!!!) this morning, just because it's the only book on there at the moment, and while I'm determined to enjoy the Kindle (cheaper books, portability, special gift from my love, etc) my first five minutes of use freaked me out a little. I noticed myself reading very self-consciously, hearing my voice echo inside my head rather than, as I've been used to since childhood, the text bypassing any inner auditory sense and going directly to my understanding so that I seem to absorb the words rather than having to 'read' them. Also, I appreciate the choice of text sizes but am startled by the wide gaps between paragraphs and the frequency with which I have to turn the pages.

  • Matthew Gatheringwater
    2019-03-11 11:32

    As a reader, I find it is sometimes helpful to my understanding of a book if I ask why an author is writing it. I think Marcia Lewton, the writer I know best, is counted among the Diarists and writes mostly to Please Herself. It may sound selfish (And why not? Doesn't service to creativity require selfishness?) but I think Diarists are generally a reliable type of author from a reader's perspective. They can at least be counted on to try and write the sort of book they would themselves like to read.Essayists are the type of writer directly opposite to Diarists. I would like to be an essayist, but my lack of skill and low output only qualify me to be a Pamphleteer. Essayists and Pamphleteers do not write primarily for their own pleasure, as Diarists do, they write in an attempt to change the minds of other people. They are usually unsuccessful. Essayists and Pamphleteers who stray into fiction are the worst, because they write Novels With A Point with Characters Who Represent Ideas. They are at their best when they turn to fiction as a last resort because it is only there where they can refashion the world into their vision of how it ought to be. Janet Frame is another kind of writer who resorts out of desperation to fiction. In her case, verbal communication is a bottleneck for all that she would really like to say and it is only through the written word that she can truly express herself. This is a recurrent motif in Frame's books, but it is the theme of Towards Another Summer. The story is framed by a the narrator's attempt to spend a short holiday with friends of friends but the pleasure of the book is not in what she says or does with them, but in what she thinks but cannot say. The originality of her thoughts, the richness of her imagination, and the beauty of her language where what I enjoyed most about this book. Much of what Frame cannot say is incommunicable because of its specificity. Most readers will no doubt find reminiscences of her colorful childhood in an exotic location to be entertaining, but they are also a reminder that each of us contains a unique and usually inarticulate history, incompletely expressed.

  • Eccentrika
    2019-03-17 10:12

    Devo ammettere che da questo libro mi aspettavo qualcosa di completamente diverso. E' il primo libro che leggo dell'autrice (prima di adesso non conoscevo nulla della sua storia) ma già dalla lettura delle primissime pagine avevo un sentore che questo libro non mi sarebbe piaciuto. E' scritto in maniera molto difficile, e per difficile intendo c'è un gran disordine nella sequenza di scrittura, le frasi sono scoordinate tra loro, il rischio è quello di non riuscire a capire cosa si sta leggendo. Eppure la trama non sarebbe brutta e in alcuni punti si intravvede del potenziale. La protagonista della storia è una scrittrice di talento che non è capace a esprimersi a parole, le è difficile socializzare, ha moltissime fobie nell'incontrare dal vivo le persone. Questa premessa è a mio avviso interessantissima, avrebbe potuto portare ad un romanzo memorabile, dai contenuti estremamente profondi e accattivanti... ma sono rimasta delusa dall'apprendere che così non è, perché il romanzo non decolla mai, alterna alcune vicende del presente con altre della storia passata della protagonista in maniera del tutto a random. Davvero pesanti poi le descrizioni del passato, che non portano minimamente a capire meglio il presente, le ho trovate inutili e ho dovuto saltare qualche pagina qua e là per tornare alla storia presente, che era migliore, se solo fosse stata meglio focalizzata. Non avevo nessun problema ad affrontare una protagonista sociopatica, anzi, adoro i personaggi sociopatici, ma lei... non solo non sa esprimersi parlando, anche scrivendo la confusione è troppa per riuscire a trasmettere qualcosa di senso compiuto. Trasmette solo un grande disagio mentale.Dopo aver finito il libro mi sono documentata meglio e ho scoperto che questo non sarebbe un romanzo di fantasia ma una sorta di storia autobiografica dell'autrice, libro pubblicato postumo per suo volere. Forse quindi un libro troppo intimistico per essere compreso da estranei, scritto in maniera che solo lei poteva capire, troppo lirismo nello stile, in definitiva una lettura che purtroppo non fa per me.

  • Clarice Stasz
    2019-03-12 12:20

    While reading this extraordinary story, I came across a critic who concluded Frame had Aspergers. Yet another example of a non-psychologist diagnosing on the basis of fiction. If this was the only Frame one had read, I could understand the inference. The narrator is intensely asocial and obsessive. In real life Frame preferred solitude but she was also for those close to her full of wit and adventure. She also hated to release her books to print, and they became so thanks much to friends and supporters. That aside, i see this story as a kind of negative nostalgia, written about an episode when she was young, before she defeated the horrors of the asylum incarceration with its hundreds of shock treatments. The story builds on an actual weekend visit with a young family she hardly knew. She lived in England at the time and was still timid and exceedingly self -abnegating. The beauty of the novel is now she takes that youthful, scarred person to reshape into a work of poetic reverie. Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway came to mind: the limited time frame, the stream of consciousness, the struggle with inner conflicts. Despite the informality of the family and its gracious hosting, the narrator copes by following her minds wanderings, often into her early life in New Zealand. Those who prefer action and drama won't find such here, as that is not Frame's purpose. What she achieves is a penetrating and rare theme, the inner life of an Other, a person who feels so strange that she concludes she is a migrating bird. I am too analytical. Few books have swept me along for by its language and insight. That's my big Brava.

  • Amijoy
    2019-02-25 12:25

    Given Janet Frame's almost obsessive habit of revealing intimate thoughts and observations in her writing I can't understand why she thought Towards Another Summer was too personal to publish in her lifetime. This is at the top of my favorite list of Frame books. There is a meditation on a walk in the snow she took to get away from the family she was staying with...boy, can I relate to that. Her descriptions of the ice, landscape and sense of solitude linger with me as if it were my own past experience remembered. Janet Frame's books deserve to be revisited again, and possibly again, like a complex and compellingly beautiful painting in a gallery.

  • Mark
    2019-03-09 13:26

    Posthumously published, Frame thought this novel too personal to be published in her lifetime. It’s the story of a weekend excursion to the north of England by a reclusive writer (obviously auto-biographical) to visit a couple of fellow New Zealanders. The tension in the novel appears at first to be Grace’s angst at coping with socializing with semi-strangers for the weekend, but as the novel progresses you realize is a love-attraction between Grace and Philip, the host. The sub-plot is Grace’s flash backs to childhood in New Zealand as she watches this couple’s life emerge. Frame’s writing is effective and witty.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-12 06:06

    This is a book considered "too personal" by the author for publication in her lifetime: the reason is not exactly known, but I feel it is because it is a clear description of autism in the main character "Grace Cleave", a very thinly disguised portrait of the author. Note the name of this main character has 5 letters in the first name, the same numbers of letters between first and last name, and is an english verb, like the author's name. A very readable book for those interested in Janet Frame and autism, but some might say it lacks an interesting enough plot, being basically a Ulysses type work, detailing every detail of a day, without a huge amount happening.

  • Allyson
    2019-02-19 11:21

    This book was very poetic, personal, and complicated, yet it left me a little cold. It was too surgical or distanced and did not pull me into her feelings. I wanted to like it more as the images and experiences revealed were not that unfamiliar to me, yet I felt removed reading it. I think upon reflection or maybe a second reading, it would not be as elusive,yet I don't feel compelled to give it that second chance or explore any of her other writing. Simply just not my style despite her amazing imagery and themes.

  • Sunflower
    2019-02-25 11:32

    You know you are in the hands of a writer of stature when you read Janet Frame. Her skill with words makes you want to dance about in them, toss them over your head, and dive into them. And for Kiwis -especially South Islanders- there's that sudden "clunk" of recognition when she introduces something local that we recognise, or remember from our childhoods. The book is at times wry, at times funny, (I really enjoyed her rendition of the National Anthem), but mostly a strongly personal rendering of extreme social awkwardness and of wanting to belong.

  • Alison
    2019-02-19 08:03

    Feeling the need to reread a Janet Frame again, I started on this just before setting out on the same journey I make every year myself, towards another summer. It'd been too long since I'd read Janet; I always come back to her books with great pleasure, losing myself in her magical gift for language, and recalling the journey that brought me to this point, assessing the latest stage. The older I get the more ill at ease in the world I feel—certainly nothing on the level of Grace Cleave—but I do have to wonder what the cost of being a migratory bird is.

  • Marissa
    2019-02-26 13:10

    Admittedly, I only got halfway through this book. It is beautifully written. The trouble is it is at turns either comforting in that it's nice to read about someone as full of social anxiety and weird scraps of memory as I am, or very depressing since she's definitely somewhat on the edge of sanity a lot of the time, twisted back on herself from all her years of living in her head isolated from the outside world. Too scary for me to finish right now, but I do like it.

  • Amy
    2019-03-15 07:23

    Completely original - and a book for complete originals. Anyone who has ever felt lonely or alienated or that they will never fit in, this is the book for you.It's a little uncomfortable though, because she nails the uneasiness of this particular character's past. Frame is a beautiful writer which sometimes throws me off the reading train where I stare into space and think.