Enterprising Women John Fraser

ISBN: 9780957206151

Published: April 1st 2013

Hardcover

217 pages


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Enterprising Women  by  John  Fraser

Enterprising Women by John Fraser
April 1st 2013 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 217 pages | ISBN: 9780957206151 | 4.18 Mb

John Frasers latest literary tour de force Enterprising Women is a sequence of stories of women in difficult circumstances, who contrive to avoid - and sometimes cause - the worst of consequences. In The Flies, the women are witness to violenceMoreJohn Frasers latest literary tour de force Enterprising Women is a sequence of stories of women in difficult circumstances, who contrive to avoid - and sometimes cause - the worst of consequences.

In The Flies, the women are witness to violence and temptation, and although one of the heroines succumbs to alcohol, the others manage to maintain their extraneous, and independent, positions. In Landfall, the protagonist, a spymaster, survives the loss and betrayal of her male companions, maintains her scepticism regarding the value of her profession, and ultimately we presume she continues on her solitary path, undiminished. The hero finds employment and travel with a female entrepreneur, who joins another, philosophically minded, colleague, and together they prosper in a shadybusiness.

In The Scorpions a conservationist confronts a potentially disastrous situation. Maybe she exaggerates the consequences - but she steers herself through it, and survives. Of Fraser, the distinguished poet, novelist, Booker Prize nominee and Fellow Emeritus at Magdalen College, Oxford, John Fuller, has written: One of the most extraordinary publishing events of the past four years has been the rapid, indeed insistent, appearance of the novels of John Fraser.

There are few parallels in literary history to this almost simultaneous and largely belated appearance of a mature uvre, sprung like Athena from Zeuss forehead- and the novels in themselves are extraordinary. Fraser is an English novelist, poet and university teacher who has lived in Rome since 1982. Originally interested in world politics and in the rich hopes and analysed regrets of failed revolutionary activity, in his recent work his settings have become more and more fantastic and apocalyptic. The limbo of putative activity and endless self-analysis that his characters arrive at is, in a paradoxical way, wonderfully absorbing and exciting.

I can think of nothing much like it in fiction. Fraser maintains a masterfully ironic distance from the extreme conditions in which his characters find themselves. There are strikingly beautiful descriptions, veiled allusions to rooted traditions, unlikely events half-glimpsed, abrupted narratives, surreal but somehow apposite social customs. Frasers work is conceived on a heroic scale in terms both of its ideas and its situational metaphors. If he were to be filmed, it would need the combined talents of a Bunuel, a Gilliam, a Cameron. Like Thomas Pynchon, whom in some ways he resembles, Fraser is a deep and serious fantasist, wildly inventive.

The reader rides as on a switchback or luge of impetuous attention, with effects flashing by at virtuoso speeds. The characters seem to be unwitting agents of chaos, however much wise reflection the author bestows upon them. They move with shrugging self-assurance through circumstances as richly-detailed and as without reliable compass-points as a Chinese scroll.



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