Author(s): Janet Frame
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. 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.