Sisters by John FraserSisters by John Fraser


byJohn Fraser

Hardcover | April 3, 2017

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The most recent work of fiction by John Fraser, hailed as ‘the most original novelist of our time’ by the distinguished poet and Whitbread Award winner John Fuller, Sisters is a contemporary reworking of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.The protagonist, Masha, a young woman with a rich MiddleEastern culture, is forced by war to leave her country, her sisters, and even change her name. Abandoning her training as a surgeon, she is involved in an innovative scientific venture - superconductors. Intrigued by the philosophical aspects of her work - energy, time and distance – she seeks new 'sisters' and tries to assert herself in the unfamiliar cultures and human projects she encounters. After many adventures she finds two sisters in an idyllic tree house, but provokes the accidental death of one of them. She follows the other sister to a utopian commune in Brazil  - but the group is in effervescence and conflict. The two take refuge on an island, involved in illicit chemistry this time - but there are conflicts with the native inhabitants. She meets up with a predatory dealer in cultural artefacts, and this ends badly. Her relation with a musician who pushes her to political celebrity also ends badly. She tries reconciliation with her 'sister', who has chosen a 'primitive' lifestyle, 'back to the forest....' In the end she's taken up by Irene, who is occupied in a big house with a laboratory equipped for research in space travel. She finds affection, but in an echo of the Chekhovian theme which runs through the plot, the train which promises escape in the Cherry Orchard finds an ironic resonance in the expedient of space travel and re-location.

Title:SistersFormat:HardcoverDimensions:184 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.56 inPublished:April 3, 2017Publisher:Aesop PublicationsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1910301388

ISBN - 13:9781910301388


Editorial Reviews

‘One of the most extraordinary publishing events of the past few 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 œuvre, sprung like Athena from Zeus’s forehead; and the novels in themselves are extraordinary. I can think of nothing much like them 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. Fraser’s 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.’ ‘Fraser is the most original novelist of our time. His work has become an internal dialogue of intuitions and counter-intuitions that just happens to take the form of conversations between his inscrutable characters. But really it is a rich texture of poetic perceptions, frequently reaching for the aphoristic, but rooted in sidelong debate and weird analogies. When I return to his books it is like finding the rare fruit spirit in the drinks cupboard and realising that it wasn't just for special occasions, but is at all times superior to Pilsener or Merlot. I now class him as a latter-day surrealist. The things I like about his work are always rooted in wit And of course the pure invention. What has struck me recently is how toughly he writes, with the talking directness of someone with a secure vision.’ Review by John Fuller, the distinguished poet, novelist, Whitbread Award winner and Booker Prize nominee.