Towards Another Summer
Suffused with beauty and tenderness and shot through with self-deprecating humour and frailty.
Grace is taking a break from writing a long novel and seems to be losing her grip on daily life in London. She feels more and more like a migratory bird as the pull of her native New Zealand makes life in England seem transitory.
Towards Another Summer is a meditation on the themes of exile and return, homesickness and not knowing where home really is.
Frame's observational prowess is here in the vivid, heartbreaking passages about children and childhood, in Grace's growing awareness of the deep-rooted nuances of social convention, and the very honest illumination of just how demanding and exhausting it can be to try to fulfill the expectations of others.
Janet Frame wrote this small and exquisite novel in 1963 while taking a break from her longest novel, The Adaptable Man. It is a precursor to An Angel at My Table, the autobiography Janet Frame wrote 20 years later (inspiring Jane Campion's memorable film adaptation). It's a highly personal work that she did not want published until after her death.
Janet Frame was born in Dunedin in 1924. She was the author of eleven novels, five collections of stories, a volume of poetry and a children's book. She was a Burns Scholar and a Sargeson Fellow and won the New Zealand Scholarship in Letters and the Hubert Church Award for Prose. She was made a CBE in 1983 for services to literature, awarded an honorary doctorate of literature from Otago University in 1978, and one from Waikato University in 1992. She received New Zealand's highest civil honour in 1990 when she was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand. Janet Frame died in January 2004.