The Lagoon by Janet Frame

The Lagoon

This collection of stories - Janet Frame's first published book - appeared in New Zealand in 1951, while she was confined in a mental hospital. It won the Hubert Church Award, and a threatened brain operation was averted. These stories bring into focus a crucial turning point in her life.

Details The Lagoon

TitleThe Lagoon
Release DateMay 30th, 1997
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Adult

Reviews The Lagoon

  • mark monday
    it is really too bad that janet frame is so little known outside of New Zealand. although some may know of her from the film based on her life, An Angel at My Table, by the marvelous director Jane Campion. the writing in this collection of sad, strange stories is at times spikey and sharp, and other times gently hallucinatory, almost as if written in some kind of fugue state. death and madness abound, but softly rendered. fascinating! a wonderful...
  • Glen U
    Janet Frame is a much overlooked writer, at least here in America, that hails from New Zealand and wrote in the 1950's and on into the 70's where she was at her most prolific. The collection of stories in "The Lagoon" was her first published book and is the celebrated work that saved her from a lobotomy. For that historical fact alone, it is a must read for any bibliophile. The stories seem to be auto-biographical as they alternate between tales ...
  • Kevin
    I hadn’t heard of Janet Frame until I found two of her short story collections in an Oxfam last year. The blurb and write-ups were very intriguing, non more so than the fact her work in this book, upon winning a literary award, saved her from a leukotomy whilst in a mental asylum diagnosed with schizophrenia.With this in mind, there is a haunting air of instability that permeates the twenty-four stories written in the late 1940s. They are delic...
  • Sarah
    Janet Frame's The Lagoon is a collection of her short stories & was the first book that she had published. The Lagoon famously saved Frame from being lobotomised, when her doctor read an article about Frame's book winning an award. The Lagoon is full of sad, beautiful, lost, dreamy stories. Many are told from the point of view of young girls growing up in small-town New Zealand, and some are narrated by young women living in psychiatric instituti...
  • Alyson
    Oh dear. And it sounded so good on the cover. However, I found 90% of the short stories to be meaningless to me, with little final 'oooh' moment at the end. Some of them didn't really seem to have much of a point at all. Many were written in the same style/voice which began to irritate me after a while. I'm afraid I rather lost patience with it all! There were one or two quite good stories, and, given the rave reviews on the back of the book othe...
  • Carol Wood
    Janet Frame's language is astonishing. She brings us to see things from a slant or side angle. This was her first book, a book of short stories, and many of them are told from the simple view of a child or young adult. All the more powerful for the sometimes uncomfortable truths they convey.
  • Jenny
    mostly, the stories are about little kids and new zealand. i would recommend this book for fans of short beautiful fiction, especially the salinger fans among us. perfect for your commute & pleasant on repeat reads.
  • Ian
    Janet Frame’s debut collection of stories, The Lagoon, collects together pieces she wrote during the late 1940s and early 1950s, a time when she was repeatedly hospitalized in psychiatric institutions. The collection was initially published in 1951 by The Caxton Press (there have been numerous subsequent editions) and in 1952 won the Hubert Church Memorial Award, a New Zealand literary prize established in 1945 and given annually to the best fi...
  • Frank
    Aside from “The Bed Jacket” and “The Park,” this collection falls short of its hype as the “book that saved Janet Frame from a lobotomy!” Her style in these two is stream-of-consciousness or spontaneous prose-like, flowing, beautiful, and revelatory of a life the average person knows nothing about. Several stories such as “My Cousins” and “Child” convey a childhood nostalgia that I enjoyed (especially when considering her angs...
  • Huw Rhys
    I'm really not sure what to say about this collection of.....scribblings? Some are barely a page long, few are long enough to capture the attention. How I managed to struggle through it all, I'm really not sure. Without wishing to seem mean, this just felt like the ramblings of a somewhat troubled mind, and I'm a little surprised that it was published to be honest.Her later work is much better, but she wrote this when she wasn't in the best of pl...
  • Judith Johnson
    I found this book in the library of a hotel in the Austrian Tyrol, a library discard from U.K., and picked it up to read as am currently enlarging my (small) knowledge of Australasian writing. Beautifully written short stories, and pleased it’s the author’s first book as I like reading works in order! Definitely now want to read more of Janet Frame’s work.
  • Matt
    really enjoyed these. they almost read more like poems than short stories, with the narrator drifting between ideas and images before focusing in for the kicker. the first few stories had a threatening feel to them that i thought was particularly effective and that i missed later on.
  • Tarjei Skille
    'Jan Godfrey' og 'Frøken Gibson - og pulterkammeret' mine to favoritter i denne samlingen. Lite wow. Mye fin NZ bakgrunn.
  • Linda
    Amazingly simple picture of life as a child and thoughts and later as an inmate of an institution for the mentally unwell.
  • Jane E
    I generally don't like short stories but these were evocative of my childhood. Slater bugs, the rotary washing line, lino flooring etc, etc. New Zealand terminology. And then there was knowing that on the strength of these stories being published it was decided within the institution where she was held that Janet Frame should not have a lobotomy. They saved her life after a fashion - certainly her life as it eventually played out as an internatio...
  • Heather
    Most of these stories aren't fully realized, but they're great beginnings that often observe their claustrophobic protagonists with a less-than-sympathetic eye.
  • Maia
    classic. She can inhabit any mind and feel its feelings. Short stories
  • Deborah J
    A little too whimsical and repetitious for me, but with touching moments.
  • Rena Ong
    Wonderfully written prose. A lost gem that needs to be re-discovered. Highly recommended
  • Lloyd
    Sentimental dross. Most of the stories merged into one.
  • Josephine Ensign
    This was my introduction to the amazing work of Janet Frame. The stories in this collection--and especially 'Snap-Dragons' and 'Jan Godfrey'--stunned me with their brilliance.
  • Ficie
    A collection of small portraits of daily life. Most of the stories are quite minimalist, and not that meaningful.
  • Jan Kristensson
    A fine novel
  • Nina
    this is the best collection of janet frame's short stories