Mansfield, Hulme, Frame – Literary Wizards
With the Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan announced as this year’s Booker winner – last year, was our own, Eleanor Catton – the Irish Times brings you “10 great novels from Down Under”.
Three authors from New Zealand feature on the list.
Katherine Mansfield’s The Aloe, published posthumously in 1930 by her husband John Middleton Murry, is an extended version of Mansfield’s 1918 short story, Prelude. The book opens with Last Moments Before, introducing the reader to the Burnell family as they attempt to move house. Written in the modernist style that Mansfield was known for, the novella deals with issues of feminism, women’s rights and their place within the family.
The pursuit and pain of loving are at the centre of Keri Hulme’s 1984 Booker-winning novel, The Bone People. A troubled child disrupts the hermit Kerewin’s solitude when he shows up at her tower on a stormy night. The story of young Simon and his adoptive father Joe shows the often murky underside to the feelings and shared history that bind a family together. Hulme’s only novel to date, the double meaning of the title draws on the importance of bone in Maori culture.
The author Janet Frame’s last novel The Carpathians is included, published in 1988, it details the journey of a writer’s wife who travels from New York to New Zealand in search of meaning and inspiration.
Original article by Sarah Gilmartin, The Irish Times, October 20, 2014.