Faces In The Water
By Janet Frame
One of the most impressive accounts of madness to be found in literature ... A masterpiece' Anita Brookner
I was now an established citizen with little hope of returning across the frontier; I was in the crazy world, separated now by more than locked doors and barred windows from the people who called themselves sane.'
When Janet Frame's doctor suggested that she write about her traumatic experiences in mental institutions in order to free herself from them, the result was Faces in the Water, a powerful and poignant novel.
Istina Mavet descends through increasingly desolate wards, with the threat of leucotomy ever present. As she observes her fellow patients, long dismissed by hospital staff, with humour and compassion, she reveals her original and questing mind. This riveting novel became an international classic, translated into nine languages, and has also been used as a medical school text.
Janet Frame (1924-2004) is New Zealand's most famous writer. She was a novelist, poet, essayist and short-story writer. Her autobiography inspired Jane Campion's acclaimed film, 'An Angel at My Table'. She was an honorary foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Literature and won the Commonwealth Literature Prize. In 1983 she was awarded the CBE.
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- Publication date:
05 Mar 2009
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One of the most impressive accounts of madness to be found in literature ... A masterpiece — Anita Brookner
What an extraordinary woman she is, overcoming such obstacles, and making fresh and good use of them in her work — Doris Lessing
Lyrical, touching and deeply entertaining — John Mortimer, Observer
Janet Frame's luminous words are the more precious because they were snatched from the jaws of the disaster of her early life . . . and yet to read her is no more difficult than breathing — Hilary Mantel
Janet Frame is the greatest New Zealand writer. She is utterly herself. Any one of her books could be published today and it would be ground-breaking — Eleanor Catton