‘The Southern Cross cuts through my heart instead of through the sky.’ A weekend away from home. But where is home? Is it London? Or New Zealand? Grace Cleave, expatriate novelist living in London, is holidaying in the north of England. Her host asks why she has abandoned her homeland: ‘Don’t you ever want to go back?’ ‘I was a certified lunatic in New Zealand. Go back? I was advised to sell hats for my salvation.’ In this previously unpublished novel, Janet Frame explores themes of travel and return, homesickness and belonging. Grace is a migratory bird, longing for her own place in the world, if she can only decide where it is. She is struggling to establish her identity as a writer, but first she must learn to be comfortable in her own skin (feathers and all). Written in 1963, this work is an exquisitely composed precursor to An Angel at My Table, the autobiography Janet Frame wrote 20 years later (inspiring Jane Campion’s memorable film adaptation). Frame rejected the pressure to publish TOWARDS ANOTHER SUMMER in her lifetime, because she claimed the story was ’embarrassingly personal’.And indeed she does turn her unflinching eye on herself, foibles and all; often enough the joke is at her own expense.
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