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About the book
  • Published: 1 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742749150
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 224
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Faces In The Water




Faces in the Water draws on the experiences of Janet Frame’s early life, but it also explores the world of the mind - isolated and inarticulate - showcasing Frame’s wisdom, compassion and genius.

Faces in the Water draws on the experiences of Janet Frame’s early life, but it also explores the world of the mind - isolated and inarticulate - showcasing Frame’s wisdom, compassion and genius.

In Faces in the Water (first published in 1961), 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 the future.’ This writing evolved into an intensely imagined, fictionalised account in which the 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.

  • Pub date: 1 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742749150
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 224

About the Author

Janet Frame

Janet Paterson Frame (1924-2004) is New Zealand's most internationally acclaimed and distinguished author. She received numerous awards, prizes, grants, fellowships and scholarships in New Zealand and abroad, including honorary doctorates from the universities of Otago and Waikato. In 1983 she was awarded a CBE for services to literature, and in 1990 was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand, the country's highest civil honour.

In her lifetime Janet Frame published eleven novels, four collections of short stories, a book of poetry, a children's book and three volumes of autobiography. Another novel, a book of poetry, a compilation of selected stories and a non-fiction collection have since been published posthumously and future publications containing new and previously uncollected material are planned.


Janet Frame was born in Dunedin in 1924. She was the author of eleven novels, five collections of stories, a volume of poetry and a children's book. She was a Burns Scholar and a Sargeson Fellow and won the New Zealand Scholarship in Letters and the Hubert Church Award for Prose. She was made a CBE in 1983 for services to literature, awarded an honorary doctorate of literature from Otago University in 1978, and one from Waikato University in 1992. She received New Zealand's highest civil honour in 1990 when she was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand. Janet Frame died in January 2004.

Janet Paterson Frame (1924-2004) is New Zealand's most internationally acclaimed and distinguished author. She received numerous awards, prizes, grants, fellowships and scholarships in New Zealand and abroad, including honorary doctorates from the universities of Otago and Waikato. In 1983 she was awarded a CBE for services to literature, and in 1990 was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand, the country's highest civil honour.

In her lifetime Janet Frame published eleven novels, four collections of short stories, a book of poetry, a children's book and three volumes of autobiography. Another novel, a book of poetry, a compilation of selected stories and a non-fiction collection have since been published posthumously and future publications containing new and previously uncollected material are planned.

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Praise for Faces In The Water

“What an extraordinary woman she is, overcoming such obstacles, and making fresh and good use of them in her work.”

Dorris Lessing


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