T.D. Armstrong, 5 December 1985
Few writers can claim to have quite literally saved their own lives through writing. In the second volume of her autobiography, Janet Frame describes how she was rescued from the leucotomy then fashionable in New Zealand mental hospitals by attracting the attention of the superintendent. Her first volume of short stories, The Lagoon, had won the Hubert Church Award, the first of many literary prizes which she was to receive in her climb to an international reputation (one, it should be said, which has always flourished in the USA rather than England). Some ten novels and four other volumes of poems and stories later, she is at 60 close to being the grand old woman of New Zealand literature.