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The Envoy From Mirror City (Janet Frame Autobiography #3)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  178 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
THE ENVOY FROM MIRROR CITY is the third book of Janet Frame's three-volume autobiography. It describes her travels overseas and entry into the saving world of writers and the 'Mirror City' that sustains them.
Published (first published 1985)
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
I read this as the third volume of Janet Frame's autobiography during my self-declared New Zealand November.

This volume talks about Janet as an author, moving in writers' and artists' circles, and her seven-year trip abroad (funded by a grant!). While in Oxford she is told she is not in fact schizophrenic, and any negative disconnected experiences she has now are most likely a direct result of electric shock therapy treatments she had while living in mental institutions. This causes a bit of an
Jun 22, 2014 Mariana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
Throughout The Envoy from Mirror City I was in awe of Janet Frame's courage and tenacity. After the intense trauma and resulting loss of confidence from her lengthy stays in psychiatric institutions, she went on to adventure abroad alone and establish herself as an extraordinary writer. Go Janet! There's a seat reserved for you at my imaginary dinner party.

There were parts of this book that were 5+ stars for me, I especially relished the ambience and poetic romance in Ibiza.

I was also moved by
Kathleen Dixon
Janet Frame is one of New Zealand's best-known authors, and this book is the third part of her autobiography in which she leaves NZ on a journey to 'broaden her experience'. Frame writes beautifully and honestly - her words are a pleasure to read and her life (and 'analysis' of it) is fascinating. Frame's novels aren't easy reads - she records what her British publisher said: "The critics love you, but nobody buys your books." - though I have read most of them. However, I found each volume of he ...more
Jul 19, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much beauty and insight in this final chapter of JF's autobio. Once again I found myself constantly in awe of how boldy, bravely and eloquently she has mapped out out the internal and external narratives which informed her experience - this time abroad.

I feel strongly that the transformation of Frame's personal story into an artefact for public consumption is something vital and precious to NZ's literary and cultural identity / the canon / whatever.
Maria Grazia
Una certa casualità nella scelta delle letture a volte fa fare strani incontri, ed questo il caso di La città degli specchi, che ritenevo un'opera di fantasia e invece è un'autobiografia, e non solo, è il terzo volume dell'autobiografia di Janet Frame.
Fortunatamente la prosa è tale, nonostante la traduzione poco degna, da non rendere necessaria la conoscenza dei due volumi precendenti, e la storia di questa timida scrittrice neozelandese a lungo creduta pazza, come spesso avviene alle donne geni
Matt Harris
Apr 23, 2013 Matt Harris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful, gentle, unassuming book from someone happy to let her life speak plainly for itself, having faith that the events and reflections themselves are interesting enough.

Which they are, as in this volume the shy New Zealand novelist makes her way to Spain and Andorra, and the UK, in search of experience, in search of herself minus the trappings of life and expectation in NZ.

I enjoyed the parts in Spain where she lived so simply, where blankets and butter are luxuries, and the company of a
Emma Bolden
Mar 16, 2014 Emma Bolden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't talk about this without sputtering. It's that important of a book to me.
Rebecka  WLLPWR
Sep 04, 2014 Rebecka WLLPWR rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my life. Marvellous.
May 17, 2013 Bronwyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this when it was first published - remember waiting impatiently for it, and I wasn't disappointed.
I have the 3 in the set and it's time to read them again!
Feb 20, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
A wonderful, precarious, hard fought struggle to be herself and to write.
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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 ...more
More about Janet Frame...

Other Books in the Series

Janet Frame Autobiography (3 books)
  • To the Is-land: An Autobiography (Autobiography, #1)
  • An Angel At My Table

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“A writer must stand on the rock of her self and her judgment or be swept away by the tide or sink in the quaking earth: there must be an inviolate place where the choices and decisions, however imperfect, are the writer’s own, where the decision must be as individual and solitary as birth or death.” 6 likes
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