Thursday, June 24, 2010

LAGOON selected for Agrégation syllabus

Janet Frame's first published book, The Lagoon and Other Stories (previously thought to have been published in 1951 due to a printing error; it was actually published in 1952) has been selected as a topic of study for a prestigious French examination for aspiring teachers of English.

The text book will be the paperback edition of The Lagoon published by Bloomsbury Books UK (pictured above).

There's a very deeply entrenched but mistaken belief that Janet Frame wrote this book while "confined in a mental hospital". In fact most of the stories were written while she was working as a "housemaid-waitress-nurse" at a rest home in Caversham, Dunedin. The work was accepted for publication by Caxton Press in January 1947; just three weeks later, Janet Frame lost a second sister to death by drowning.

It was not until a year after this tragic family event that Janet Frame became lost in the hospital system, after having succumbed to an experimental application of electro-shock treatment recommended by a psychotherapist she had been consulting.

Meanwhile the Lagoon manuscript languished on the desk of the hopelessly alcoholic editor Denis Glover, for just over five years.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More about Frame and the agrégation syllabus: