In the Memorial Room

Janet Frame. Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), $23 (208p) ISBN 978-1-61902-175-4
Prolific New Zealander Frame (An Angel at My Table) wrote this novel in 1974, but embargoed publication during her lifetime. Frame draws on her time in Menton, France, as a Katherine Mansfield Fellow, in portraying historical fiction writer Harry Gill’s travails after being awarded the annual Watercress-Armstrong Fellowship. The award, given in honor of the (fictional) poet Margaret Rose Hurndell, requires him to travel to Menton, where Hurndell once lived. Harry finds himself struggling to turn his good fortune into productivity. He is expected to do his writing in the dilapidated Rose Hurndell Memorial Room, but finds himself unable to complete anything there. Hurndell’s admirers interrupt Harry regularly, and the entire town seems more interested in the idea of having a writer around than in the work itself. While Hurndell’s memory is complacently worshipped, Harry struggles with his eyesight and his general invisibility among the townspeople. In her signature eclectic style, Frame has crafted both a canny commentary on literary fame and hero worship and a heartfelt meditation on what it means to be a writer. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 08/05/2013
Release date: 12/01/2013
Show other formats
Hardcover - 80 pages - 978-1-61902-266-9
Hardcover - 170 pages - 978-1-922148-22-3
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-61902-446-5
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-1-922147-13-4
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.