Poets and novelists, who persist in the obsessive-compulsive pursuit of those “interests” of theirs, may seize on that terrifying passage as further evidence that shrinks want to pathologize genius....Which must warm the cockles of the heart of Frame's niece and guardian of her work, Pamela Gordon, who has always said this. Now is the time, surely, to give Frame full recognition for her genius without hissing behind our hands with the next breath in an attempt to diminish that genius. While I haven't hissed exactly, I did murmur something not exactly dismissive of the Abrahamson theory in a Radio NZ review of Towards Another Summer a couple of years back. I regret that now. Discussion of Frame's life belongs firmly elsewhere.
Like every writer worth remembering, Frame exploits — or creates on the page, to be absolutely puristic about it — her peculiar sensibility, her private window into the universal.... A writer’s neurochemistry may matter to physicians, biographers and general-purpose gossips, but it’s not the reader’s business. Frame’s sad, slyly comic fish-out-of-water story needs neither explanation nor excuse, and Grace’s aloneness isn’t a medical condition — it’s a human one.
Reading the NY Times review - especially the extracts from Towards Another Summer - makes me want to read the book all over again. The language is as exquisite as the discomfort Cleave feels. Unmatchable.
Full review here.