11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 1999
Janet Frame's autobiography is, by far, the most amazing non-fiction book I've ever had the chance to read. While covering the difficulties of her childhood (living in poverty, the deaths of her sisters by drowning), her young adulthood (shyness & social awkwardness, being misdiagnosed with schizophrenia & hospitalized), and her blossoming into the brilliant writer she has now become, the language and artistry of Janet's transforms the narrative beyond its sadnesses. One of the best writers around, her memoir is also a good introduction to her work before you plunge into the strange, evocative fiction. I heartily recommend the entire body of her work.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 1997
In the first volume, Frame beautifully describes her New Zealand childhood. Her descriptions of her family, their day-to-day lives, and their economic and personal hardships, stay with the reader long after reading Volume I.
In Volume II she describes her college years and subsequent mental mis-diagnosis, which led to several years of institutionalization. Rather than leaving the reader depressed, somehow she brings one into the experience but leaves us wondering at her resilience and ability to continue writing.
Volume III contains her account of her growing acceptance as a writer and her association with other well-known New Zealand writers. This is a must for anyone interested in: a brilliant picture of an artist; New Zealand life; good non-fiction writing.