A Passage from Janet Frame’s recently published Towards Another Summer:


She made tea. They stood drinking it in the kitchen. She waved towards a refrigerator which throbbed like an incubator surrounded by nursery-coloured walls and ‘working surfaces’.

–I’m not used to this.I’ve just moved in. I’ve never had a flat of my own before.

He told her about his wife, his father-in-law, the time he spent in New Zealand.

–New Zealand? Well I wouldn’t know, she said, dismissing the country. –I’ve been away so long. This is my home now. There’s a gentleness here.

He insisted. Remember this. Remember that.

–I don’t remember. I wouldn’t know. It wasn’t my time. That was after I left…

–Don’t you ever want to go back?

Grace smiled thoughtfully, choosing her answer from an uncomplicated store of samples put aside for the purpose.

–I was a certified lunatic in New Zealand. Go back? I was advised to sell hats for my salvation.

A spasm of sympathy crossed Philip’s face. Good God, she thought, I’ve said the wrong thing, the tender mind etc.

–But don’t you miss it at all, I mean…don’t you miss it? Don’t you prefer it to – this?

–I don’t know, I don’t know. I miss the rivers of course. Oh yes, I miss the rivers, and the mountain chains. I’ve never been interviewed before.

–Forget about being interviewed. We’re drinking tea.

–I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’ve never been interviewed before.