357th out of 380 books — 141 voters
by Janet Frame
This collection of stories -- Janet Frame's first published book -- appeared in New Zealand in 1951, while she was confined in a mental hospital. It won the Hubert Church Award, and a threatened brain operation was averted. These stories bring into focus a crucial turning point in her life.
Paperback, 184 pages
Published 1997 by Bloomsbury
(first published January 1st 1951)
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it is really too bad that janet frame is so little known outside of new zealand, although some may know of her from the film based on her life, An Angel at My Table, by the marvelous director jane campion. the writing in this collection of sad, strange stories is at times spikey and sharp, and other times gently hallucinatory, almost as if written in some kind of fugue state. death and madness abound, but softly rendered. fascinating! a wonderful and odd little book. janet frame must have been a...more
Oh dear. And it sounded so good on the cover. However, I found 90% of the short stories to be meaningless to me, with little final 'oooh' moment at the end. Some of them didn't really seem to have much of a point at all. Many were written in the same style/voice which began to irritate me after a while. I'm afraid I rather lost patience with it all! There were one or two quite good stories, and, given the rave reviews on the back of the book other people must like it. Maybe it's just a personal...more
Janet Frame's language is astonishing. She brings us to see things from a slant or side angle. This was her first book, a book of short stories, and many of them are told from the simple view of a child or young adult. All the more powerful for the sometimes uncomfortable truths they convey.
Jan 04, 2008 Jenny rated it 5 of 5 stars · review of another edition Recommends it for: salinger fans
mostly, the stories are about little kids and new zealand. i would recommend this book for fans of short beautiful fiction, especially the salinger fans among us. perfect for your commute & pleasant on repeat reads.
The fate befalling the young woman who wanted "to be a poet" has been well documented. Desperately unhappy because of family tragedies and finding herself trapped in the wrong vocation (as a schoolteacher) her only escape appeared to be in submission to society's judgement of her as abnormal. She spent four and a half years out of eight years, incarcerated in mental hospitals. The story of her alm...moreMore about Janet Frame...