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Towards Another Summer

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  392 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Counterpoint (first published 2007)
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Oct 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: how many times must you prove you're an angel?
Recommended to Mariel by: looking for some proof that god loves ugly
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 p
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--
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: introvertidos, los que se consideran unos ineptos sociales
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 d ...more
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
Laura J. W.
Apr 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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 s
May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rootl ...more
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.
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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 stat ...more
May 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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, from Book of New Zealand Verse :

Nem a presunçosa celebração,
Ou a mais esmerada historia, pode aliviar
Do descobridor a sede de elação
E silenciar as vozes que dizem,
“Aqui é o fim do mundo, ande as maravilha
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: belletristik
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 ...more
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, ...more
Apr 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Alison Parsons
Jul 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Eric Hinkle
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Susan Pearce
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 permis
Matthew Gatheringwater
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 r ...more
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. ...more
Clarice Stasz
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 sup ...more
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 exp ...more
Jun 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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 ...more
Oct 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nz, fiction-read-2010
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 ...more
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 ...more
Melanie Ford
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ulrika Wikström
Har läst det mesta av Janet Frame, denna säregna Nyzeeländska författare, som spärrades in på mentalsjukhus i ungdomen, och räddades undan lobotomi tack vare det hon skrev.
Denna bok, på svenska Mot ännu en sommar, berättar om den skygga författaren som bjuds in av en familj att besöka dem, och hur hela vistelsen blir en plåga för henne.
Jul 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I tend toward books that have a lot of internal dialogue. There was no shortage here. Lots of memories and reflection and large doses of anxiety by the main character, Cleave.

The writing perfectly measured and beautifully wrought. After I finished I went to two other bookstores to pick up anything by Janet Frame and neither had a single title available. Very disappointing.
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Towards Another Summer 1 11 Aug 04, 2010 10:53PM  
  • In My Father's Den
  • The Penguin History of New Zealand
  • Novel About My Wife
  • Spinners
  • The Book of Fame
  • Stephen Morris
  • Tracks and Shadows: Field Biology as Art
  • The Wedding Group
  • The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield
  • Symposium
  • The scarecrow: A novel
  • Anzac Girls: The Extraordinary Story Of Our World War 1 Nurses
  • The Echoing Grove
  • Baby No-Eyes
  • This Real Night
  • Confessions of a Reformed Dieter
  • My Sister's Hand in Mine: The Collected Works of Jane Bowles
  • Die Enden der Welt
The fate befalling the young woman who wanted "to be a poet" has been well documented. Desperately unhappy because of family tragedies and finding herself trapped in the wrong vocation (as a schoolteacher) her only escape appeared to be in submission to society's judgement of her as abnormal. She spent four and a half years out of eight years, incarcerated in mental hospitals. The story of her alm ...more
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“I don't want to inhabit the human world under false pretenses.” 84 likes
“I don't wish to inhabit the world under false pretences. I'm relieved to have discovered my identity after being so confused about it for so many years. Why should people be afraid if I confide in them? Yet 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?” 19 likes
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