Between My Father and the King: Book summary and reviews of Between My Father and the King by Janet Frame

Between My Father and the King

New and Uncollected Stories

By Janet Frame

Between My Father and the King
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  • Published in USA  May 2013,
    256 pages.

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Book Summary

This brand new collection of 28 short stories spans the length of Frame's career and contains some of the best she wrote. None of these stories have been published in a collection before, and more than half are published for the first time in Between My Father and the King.

The piece 'Gorse is Not People' caused Frame a setback in 1954, when Charles Brasch rejected it for publication in Landfall and, along with others for one reason or other, deliberately remained unpublished during her lifetime. Previously published pieces have appeared in Harper's Bazaar, the NZ Listener, the New Zealand School Journal, Landfall and The New Yorker over the years, and one otherwise unpublished piece, 'The Gravy Boat', was read aloud by Frame for a radio broadcast in 1953.

In these stories readers will recognize familiar themes, scenes, characters and locations from Frame's writing and life, and each offers a fresh fictional transformation that will captivate and absorb.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A treasure-trove of stories, from the very earliest she ever published, to work published posthumously, from the late, great Frame ... A powerful collection." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. [T]he...stories in the collection demonstrate writerly genius in every sentence, are told with charming and often wicked wit, boast visual images conjured with nimble wordplay ("The sky sagged in the middle, there didn't seem to be enough head-room"), and display a warm intimacy betweenthe author and her prose as she writes close to the psychological and autobiographical bone. - Booklist

"Starred Review. These stories - with themes of despair, disappointment, and wonder, underscored by Frame's melancholy and vivid turns of phrase - are beautifully rendered." - Publishers Weekly

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Author Information

Janet Frame Author Biography

Janet Frame was born in 1924. She is the author of 11 adult novels and one for younger readers, a poetry collection, and an autobiographical trilogy. Her mental illness and stories stemming from it, contributed to her fame. After a suicide attempt she spent much of the next eight years in various mental hospitals, during which time she was given about 200 electroshock treatments as she was believed to have schizophrenia. She was saved from a scheduled lobotomy when a volume of her short stories won a national literary prize. Some years later, an American-trained psychiatrist working in London proposed that she did not have schizophrenia - a conclusion that did not please Frame who later wrote, "'Oh why had they robbed me of my schizophrenia, which had been the answer to all my misgivings ...

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