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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Typewriter's Tale

The Typewriter's Tale

A Novel

Michiel Heyns

St. Martin's Press

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“Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to.”

This is the maxim of celebrated author Henry James and one which his typist Frieda Wroth tries to live up to. Admiring of the great author, she nevertheless feels marginalized and undervalued in her role. But when the dashing Morton Fullerton comes to visit, Frieda finds herself at the center of an intrigue every bit as engrossing as the novels she types, bringing her into conflict with the flamboyant Edith Wharton, and compromising her loyalty to James.

The Typewriter’s Tale by Michiel Heyns is a thought-provoking novel on love, art and life fully lived.

Praise for The Typewriter's Tale

“Heyns draws James with an affectionate hand, as quirky and verbose and brilliant as we would wish....delicious to read.”
The Washington Post

“Heyns is an extraordinary writer. His writing is beautiful in an old-world style….In more than a word, Heyns writes like ‘The Master’ himself.”
The Buffalo News

“Fascinating....Literary history blends masterfully with a plot of intrigue in this slim and delightful novel.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Highly creative.…Faithfully re-created real-life individuals mix well with authentically drawn fictitious ones.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Anyone who loves Henry James will adore this...Heyns has given us something playful as well as thought-provoking.” - The Independent (UK)

“Heyns has a knack for building clear, expressive prose like a watchmaker fitting together the workings of a timepiece.”
Sunday Times, South Africa

“Fans of James will find a compelling take on his private life.”
Publishers Weekly

“Admirable for its Jamesian inwardness and delicacy. It’s a brilliant idea to explore the typewriter’s view of the great writer she serves and to imagine so plausibly how she is drawn into his world.”
—Lyndall Gordon, author of Henry James: His Women and His Art

“Sly, sympathetic, high-minded, involving, moving, funny. I loved it.”
—Ronald Frame, author of The Lantern Bearers and Havisham

“...beams a brilliant light onto the world of Henry James, illuminating the language, manners and social mores of the early twentieth centu… More…

“Heyns draws James with an affectionate hand, as quirky and verbose and brilliant as we would wish....delicious to read.”
The Washington Post

“Heyns is an extraordinary writer. His writing is beautiful in an old-world style….In more than a word, Heyns writes like ‘The Master’ himself.”
The Buffalo News

“Fascinating....Literary history blends masterfully with a plot of intrigue in this slim and delightful novel.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Highly creative.…Faithfully re-created real-life individuals mix well with authentically drawn fictitious ones.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Anyone who loves Henry James will adore this...Heyns has given us something playful as well as thought-provoking.” - The Independent (UK)

“Heyns has a knack for building clear, expressive prose like a watchmaker fitting together the workings of a timepiece.”
Sunday Times, South Africa

“Fans of James will find a compelling take on his private life.”
Publishers Weekly

“Admirable for its Jamesian inwardness and delicacy. It’s a brilliant idea to explore the typewriter’s view of the great writer she serves and to imagine so plausibly how she is drawn into his world.”
—Lyndall Gordon, author of Henry James: His Women and His Art

“Sly, sympathetic, high-minded, involving, moving, funny. I loved it.”
—Ronald Frame, author of The Lantern Bearers and Havisham

“...beams a brilliant light onto the world of Henry James, illuminating the language, manners and social mores of the early twentieth century. This exquisite account of the master and his amanuensis is a tour de force; her story, for all the confines of a typist's life in Rye, a triumph. Heyns is an important figure in South African letters; here he is profound and humorous. THE TYPEWRITER’S TALE is a breathtaking work and, above all, a pleasure to read.”
—Zoe Wicomb, author of Playing in the Light and October

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Reviews from Goodreads

Michiel Heyns

MICHIEL HEYNS is Professor Emeritus in English at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Author of numerous academic works and radio adaptations of Henry James's and Elizabeth Gaskell's novels, Heyns wrote the chapter on Henry James for the Cambridge Companion to English Novelists. He is winner of the Thomas Pringle Award for journalism 2007, and the Sol Plaatje Award for translation, 2008 and was winner of the Sunday Times Fiction Award 2012 for his novel Lost Ground.

St. Martin's Press

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