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Faces in the water ; and, The edge of the alphabet

Author: Janet Frame
Publisher: Auckland, N.Z. : Random House NZ, ©2005.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In Faces In The Water, Janet Frame responded to her doctor's suggestion that 'as I was obviously suffering from the effects of my long stay in hospital in New Zealand, I should write my story of that time to give me a clearer view of my future'. The 'documentary' evolved into an intensely imagined fictionalised account in which Istina Mavet moves in and out of mental hospitals, facing the terrors of electric-shock
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Genre/Form: New Zealand fiction
Fiction
General fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Janet Frame
ISBN: 1869417380 9781869417383
OCLC Number: 156779509
Notes: Both novels originally published by Pegasus Press, the first in 1961, the second in 1962.
"The Janet Frame collection"--Cover.
Description: 503 p. ; 21 cm.
Contents: Faces in the water --
The edge of the alphabet. Both novels originally published by Pegasus Press, the first in 1961, the second in 1962. -"The Janet Frame collection" --
Cover. In Faces in the Water (first published in 1961), protagonist Istina Mavet, moves in and out of mental hospitals, facing the terrors of electric-shock treatment and the threat of a leucotomy. This riveting novel became an international classic translated into nine languages and has also been used as a medical school text. Edge of the Alphabet (published 1962) is a sequel to 'Owls Do Cry'. Epileptic Toby Withers is on board a liner for London, where he encounters Zoe Bryce and Irishman Pat Keenan.
Other Titles: Edge of the alphabet.
Responsibility: Janet Frame.

Abstract:

In Faces In The Water, Janet Frame responded to her doctor's suggestion that 'as I was obviously suffering from the effects of my long stay in hospital in New Zealand, I should write my story of that time to give me a clearer view of my future'. The 'documentary' evolved into an intensely imagined fictionalised account in which Istina Mavet moves in and out of mental hospitals, facing the terrors of electric-shock treatment and the threat of a leucotomy. This riveting novel became an international classic translated into nine languages and has also been used as a medical school text. Doris Lessing was moved to write, 'what an extraordinary woman she is, overcoming such obstacles, and making fresh and good use of them in her work'.

The Edge Of The Alphabet is a sequel to Owls Do Cry. Within it, Thora Pattern creates her own fiction about epileptic Toby Withers as he leaves behind the judgements of home. On board a liner for London, he encounters Zoe Bryce and Irishman Pat Keenan. Both Thora (the writer) and Zoe (the lone traveller) echo aspects of Frame herself, though because of a misconstrued identification of the Toby character as her real-life brother, she refused to allow any further reprints. As a result of this is the first reissue of that novel since first publication in 1962, when Patrick White was 'knocked sideways' by it and said that Frame 'strikes me as really doing something that nobody else has done'.

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