Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Fl-Ha)

Frame, Janet

house mental story imagination

(NZ, 1924–2004)

Janet Frame's unhappy early life led to her repeated incarceration in mental hospitals from 1947 to 1955, and her writing is preoccupied with the themes of madness, sanity, and creativity. Start with Faces in the Water (1961), a harrowing and funny account of the narrator's stay in a mental hospital, with piercing insights into her own imagination, the lives of her fellow patients, and into the insanities of those who visit and care for them. Her later novels are more dense and difficult, with fragmented story-lines and multiple voices; Living in the Maniototo (1981) tells the story of a widowed writer who house-sits a Californian house and is invaded by friends of the house-owners. She has three personalities which operate at different levels of imagination. Frame, who won many awards for her work, wrote short stories, poetry, and a brilliant autobiography which was filmed by Jane Campion as An Angel at My Table.

Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Jolley, Jean Rhys. See AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND  JR

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