Synopses & Reviews
In the tradition of Wide Sargasso Sea
is the astonishing prelude to Charles Dickens's Great Expectations
Before she became the immortal and haunting Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, she was Catherine, a young woman with all of her dreams ahead of her. Spry, imperious, she is the daughter of a wealthy brewer. But she is never far from the smell of hops and the arresting letters on the brewhouse wall HAVISHAM a reminder of all she owes to the family name and the family business.
Sent by her father to stay with the Chadwycks, Catherine discovers elegant pastimes to remove the taint of her family's new money. But for all her growing sophistication, Catherine is anything but worldly, and when a charismatic stranger pays her attention, everything her heart, her future, the very Havisham name is vulnerable.
In Havisham, Ronald Frame unfurls the psychological trauma that made young Catherine into Miss Havisham and cursed her to a life alone, roaming the halls of the mansion in the tatters of the dress she wore for the wedding she was never to have.
"Frame's presentation of the era is substantial but not overdone....An intelligently imagined Dickens prequel." Kirkus Reviews
"Ronald Frame is one of Scotland's finest writers and this new book will confirm his reputation as a writer whom it is simply a delight to read."Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series
"Some 150 years after Dickens first breathed life into her, Miss Havisham remains one of his most memorable characters. Tragedy is the very essence of her life. Yet, as much as we think we know her backstory and all that guided her life of bitterness and sorrow, with Havisham, Ronald Frame eloquently tells her story anew....As one who has long loved Dickens, I never thought I would be describing a book as a 'companion' to one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. But here I am, doing just that. Havisham is well worth the read." Robert Hicks, author of the New York Times bestselling Widow of the South and A Separate Country
"Havisham is delightful, and all the more so for sending you hungrily back to its source material." Sunday Express (London)
Bold new writing from Scotland's leading and emerging gay writers, including Ali Smith, Louise Welsh, Jackie Kay, Ronald Frame, and Toni Davidson With 24 pieces that as a whole provide an important snapshot of gay writing in the 21st century, this is a definitive anthology of prose writing from Scotland's leading and emerging gay writers. The collection includes the likes of Ali Smith, whose The Accidental was nominated for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes, and winner of Whitbread Novel of the Year; Louise Welsh, whose The Cutting Room was nominated for the Orange Prize and won the Creasey Dagger; Jackie Kay, winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize and shortlisted for PEN/Ackerley and Costa prizes; Ronald Frame, author of Havisham; Toni Davidson, author of Scar Culture; and many exciting new voices. The writing is as provocative, thoughtful, moving, and fully-charged with energy as one would expect from the country's celebrated community of LGBT artists.
About the Author
Ronald Frame was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and educated there and at Oxford University. His novel The Lantern Bearers was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, named the Scottish Book of the Year, and cited by the American Library Association. He is also a dramatist and winner of the Samuel Beckett Award. Many of his original radio plays have been broadcast by the BBC. He lives outside Glasgow.