Janet Frame

Janet Frame was a renowned New Zealand author known for her novels, short stories, and poetry. Her work often explored themes of mental illness, identity, and the human condition. She received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including the New Zealand Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Owls Do Cry

    This novel is a poignant exploration of the Withers family living in a small New Zealand town, focusing on the life of Daphne Withers, who is sent to a mental institution after a breakdown. Through lyrical and experimental prose, the narrative delves into themes of mental illness, societal expectations, and the struggle for individuality. It juxtaposes the harsh realities of institutional life with the rich inner world of its characters, particularly Daphne, who finds solace in the natural world and poetry. The book is a powerful critique of the stigma surrounding mental health and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

    The 1576th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Faces In The Water

    "Faces in the Water" is a chilling exploration of mental illness, based on the author's own experiences in psychiatric hospitals. The protagonist is a woman who is institutionalized after a suicide attempt and suffers through the dehumanizing treatment of the era, including electroshock therapy. The narrative is a surreal and fragmented reflection of her mental state, as she grapples with her sanity and the inhumane conditions of her confinement. The novel serves as a powerful critique of the mental health system and the societal attitudes towards mental illness in the mid-20th century.

    The 2471st Greatest Book of All Time