Janet Frame (1924-2004) was one of New Zealand's most
distinguished writers. She is best known for her autobiography,
which inspired Jane Campion's internationally acclaimed film, An
Angel at My Table. Michael Holroyd hailed it as 'one of the
greatest autobiographies written in the twentieth century'. She was
also the author of twelve novels, five collections of short
stories, two volumes of poetry and a children's book.
Throughout her long career Janet Frame received a wide range of awards. They included every literary prize for which she was eligible in New Zealand, honorary membership of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Commonwealth prize for literature. She also won civil honours - a CBE in 1983 for services to literature, the Order of New Zealand in 1990 - and honorary doctorates and medals from three New Zealand universities.
Janet Frame was a unique and troubled soul whose luminous words are
the more precious because they were snatched from the jaws of the
disaster of her early life -- Hilary Mantel
Janet Frame's first novel, Owls Do Cry, created a sensation in New Zealand when it was published in 1957 . . . Her dark, eloquent song captured my heart . . . Frame gave Daphne this inner world of gorgeously imagined riches, but also affirmed it in me, and in countless other sensitive teenage girls: we had been given a voice - poetic, powerful and fated. -- Jane Campion
This is the era that saw the emergence of novelists including Doris Lessing, Muriel Spark and Iris Murdoch, and Frame's place alongside them would be assured if she never published anything but this one novel * Independent on Sunday *
An unforgettable and startlingly original work, a true and timeless classic of enduring power -- Margaret Drabble
Owls Do Cry remains innovative and relevant; Frame's idiosyncratic and startlingly visual style means that the book's immense power to unnerve, astonish and impress endures * Guardian *
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