I am currently reading A Notable Woman, a lifetime’s worth of ‘the romantic journals’ of Jean Lucey Pratt, edited and condensed into one hefty volume by Simon Garfield. The book was a gift given to me by my friend Andrea in the UK, who read it on a recommendation from her friend, Hilary Mantel. On the other side of the spousal bed, my husband is reading Hilary’s final instalment in the Wolf Hall trilogy, The Mirror and the Light. Another friend in the UK emailed me yesterday saying how much she was enjoying Mantel’s novel, but that it had already struck her in the face several times because she reads it at night just before sleeping.
Welcome to May. How is our bookish tribe faring this month? Have you broken the Goodreads algorithm by smashing out your 2020 Reading Challenge in the first quarter? Here at Fremantle Press, right at the moment when the physical world seemed to contract to what was experienced from the lounge room or the home office, our local WA stories expanded into new territories and formats.
Just as we know each of you will be doing, Fremantle Press is getting to grips with a new way of operating in these unprecedented times. Fremantle Press is committed to the safety of its staff, creatives, contractors and suppliers, and is closely following all guidelines and information regarding the evolving crisis around COVID-19 and how to best mitigate any escalation and impact of the spread of this virus in our community.
At the end of 2019, with her customary desire to avoid the fanfare she so richly deserves, Fremantle Press editor and manuscript assessor Wendy Jenkins left the building. It is an understatement to say this is the end of an era: Wendy began work with the Press, formerly known as Fremantle Arts Centre Press, just a few years after it published its first title in 1976.
Craig Silvey’s debut novel, Rhubarb, is a masterclass in writing from an author who was named in the Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelists list in 2005 and again in 2010 for his novel Jasper Jones.
Fremantle Press CEO Jane Fraser has pledged the company’s support of early literacy in children from disadvantaged backgrounds by donating picture books to the Victorian not-for-profit organisation Reading Out of Poverty (ROOP).