Epilogue Written to a Life of Words

NZ lost one of its edgiest inhabitants with the death of Janet Frame from acute myeloid leukemia on January 29. Frame, the author of 11 novels, 5 collections of short stories, a poetry collection, and an acclaimed 3-part autobiography, was NZ’s leading contender for a Nobel Prize for literature, twice nominated. She was regarded as the country’s greatest living author, if not of all time. The world’s press has expressed sorrow at Frame’s passing, with tributes in the Times, Scotsman, New York Times, New Zealand Herald, Hindustan Times, International Herald Tribune and Guardian, and obituaries by compatriots Michael King in the Sydney Morning Herald and Guardian, and CK Stead and Fleur Adcock in the Independent. Fellow author Witi Ihimaera likened Frame’s death to losing a beloved grandmother: “She had been so much a part of all our lives. She’s been an icon.” “Janet Frame has made an extraordinary contribution to both New Zealand and the world’s literary canon,” said Creative New Zealand head, Elizabeth Kerr. “Reading Janet Frame’s novels and poetry is to take a journey into what it means to be human. Her death is a sad loss for writers and readers throughout the world, and for New Zealanders.”

Janet Frame: 28 August 1924 – 29 January 2004

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