'For your own good' is a persuasive argumentNew Zealand poet, novelist, and memoirist Janet Frame was born 28 August 1924, in Dunedin. She spent much of her twenties in mental hospitals, beginning with a voluntary commitment in 1947, ending with her final release in 1954. (A diagnosis of schizophrenia was made, but was later rejected by a panel of psychiatrists in London.) She underwent hundreds of electric shock treatments --"each the equivalent, in degree of fear, to an execution," she said -- during her hospitalizations. Her mother had signed the paperwork for a lobotomy, but the surgery was canceled after Frame's 1951 book, The Lagoon and Other Stories, won a national award. She wrote a novel based on her family and her hospitalizations, Owls Do Cry, published in 1957. Another novel by Frame, Faces in the Water (1961), features a heroine who is institutionalized and almost lobotomized. Her novel Scented Gardens for the Blind (1980) has as its main character a girl who never speaks.
that will eventually make a man agree
to his own destruction.
Some cites on Frame and disability, to mark her birthday (plenty more cites here):
Simone Oettli-van Delden, Surfaces of Strangeness: Janet Frame and the Rhetoric of Madness (Victoria University Press 2003).
Ana Maria Sanchez Mosquera, "Un/writing the Body: Janet Frame's An Angel at my Table," Commonwealth Novel in English 9-10(Spring-Fall 2000-2001): 218-241.
C. MacLellan, "Conformity and Deviance in the Fiction of Janet Frame," Journal of New Zealand Literature 6(1988): 190-201.
Susan Schwartz, "Dancing in the Asylum: The Uncanny Truth of the Madwoman in Janet Frame's Autobiographical Fiction," Ariel 27(4)(October 1996): 113-127.
Tanya Blowers, "Madness, Philosophy, and Literature: A Reading of Janet Frame's Faces in the Water," Journal of New Zealand Literature 14(1996): 74-89.
Venla Oikkonen, "Mad Embodiments: Female Corporeality and Insanity in Janet Frame's Faces in the Water and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar," Helsinki English Studies 3(2004): online here.