Read Faces in the Water by Janet Frame Free Online
Book Title: Faces in the Water|
The author of the book: Janet Frame
Edition: George Braziller Inc.
Date of issue: March 17th 1982
ISBN 13: 9780807609576
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 38.48 MB
City - Country: No data
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Reader ratings: 7.5
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I have been a reader for as long as I can remember, not going to say how many years that is, but it has only been in the last ten years or so that I started reading non fiction. I used to think that knowing an author's background was unnecessary, but after I now realize how much of an author is put into even the fictional books they write. None more so then in this novel. Knowing the background of this author in particular made this an even more heartbreaking read than the subject itself garnered.
In this novel a young woman, once a school teacher loses her bearings, her grasp on reality and finds herself in a mental institute. We meet the other women, the so called caregivers and the ineffective doctors. The routine, the punishments, the cruelty, the EST shock therapy which was so feared, the different wards, the cruelty of many of the staff, and the sense of fear and hopelessness many of the patients felt. She would be let out under the care of assisted, only to find a short time later in another institution. The end threat, a lobotomy, the last recourse.
The writing is so insightful. Every few pages I stopped to reread a passage, powerful, profound. As written to describe the feelings of this young woman,
"And the days passed, packing and piling themselves together like sheets of absorbent material, deadening the sound of our lives, even to ourselves, so that perhaps if a tomorrow ever came it would not hear us; its new days would bury us, in its own name; we would be like people entombed when the rescuers, walking about in the dark waving lanterns and calling to us, eventually give up because no one answers them; sometimes they dig and find the victims dead."
The hopelessness and anguish expressed so heartbreaking. A powerful, and absorbing read, semi autobiographical novel. Well worth reading.
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Read information about the authorThe fate befalling the young woman who wanted "to be a poet" has been well documented. Desperately unhappy because of family tragedies and finding herself trapped in the wrong vocation (as a schoolteacher) her only escape appeared to be in submission to society's judgement of her as abnormal. She spent four and a half years out of eight years, incarcerated in mental hospitals. The story of her almost miraculous survival of the horrors and brutalising treatment in unenlightened institutions has become well known. She continued to write throughout her troubled years, and her first book (The Lagoon and Other Stories) won a prestigious literary prize, thus convincing her doctors not to carry out a planned lobotomy.
She returned to society, but not the one which had labelled her a misfit. She sought the support and company of fellow writers and set out single-mindedly and courageously to achieve her goal of being a writer. She wrote her first novel (Owls Do Cry) while staying with her mentor Frank Sargeson, and then left New Zealand, not to return for seven years.
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