Janet Frame


Janet Frame (1924-2004) was once of New Zealand’s most distinguished writers. A novelist, short-story writer, and poet, she is best known for An Angel at My Table, which the Sunday Times of London called “one of the great autobiographies written in the twentieth century,” and inspired Jane Campion’s internationally acclaimed film. Following a suicide attempt, Frame spent eight years in mental institutions, where she received electroshock treatments for a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia. Her first book, The Lagoon and Other Stories, won the prestigious Hubert Church Award, convincing her doctors not to carry out a scheduled lobotomy. Throughout her long career, Frame received a wide range of awards. They include every literary prize for which she was eligible in New Zealand, honorary membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Literature.