Through the eyes of a woman of myriad personalities - ventriloquist, gossip and writer - Janet Frame playfully explores the process of writing fiction.
Through the eyes of a woman of myriad personalities - ventriloquist, gossip and writer - Janet Frame playfully explores the process of writing fiction: the avoidances, interruptions and irrelevancies, as well as a teasing blurring between fact and fiction.
The landscape of the Maniototo becomes 'the bloody plain' of the imagination, as the narrator tells us about her marriages and children, her friends (real and imagined), her travels (between New Zealand and the United States) and her stay in the house left in her care by friends travelling in Italy. She must face the reality of death as well as probe the authenticity of the modern world.
“Quirky, rich, eccentric”
“Probably as near a masterpiece as we are likely to see this year... it is a novel full of riches.”
The Daily Telegraph (UK)
“Puts everything else that has come my way this year in the shade.”
“The most original and resourceful novel I have read for a long time.”
“Frame’s novel is remarkable - full of word plays, cameo portraits and deliberate mystery”
“Frame's writing has the unique quality of being both eccentric and central to the precarious business of our psycho-social existence. She offers us expressions of uncommonly articulated but familiar experience. Known for her ability to focus on alienation, madness and death, she is nevertheless capable of affirming the most exquisite sensations of being alive”
“In many ways she (Frame) is incomparable”
“Frame's fiction made [me] feel that I have always been a couple of steps from where I wanted to get in my own writing”
Nobel Laureate Patrick White