Author(s): Janet Frame
This is Janet Frame's first novel. She describes her ideas behind it in the second volume of her autobiography: "Pictures of great treasures in the midst of sadness and waste haunted me and I began to think, in fiction, of a childhood, home life, hospital life, using people known to me as a base for the main characters, and inventing minor characters. For Daphne I chose a sensitive, poetic, frail person, who (I hoped) would give depth to inner worlds and perhaps a clearer, at least an individual, perception of outer worlds. The other characters, similarly fictional, were used to portray aspects of my 'message' - the excessively material outlook of 'Chicks', the confusion of Toby, the earthy make-up of Francie, and the toiling parents, the nearest characters to my own parents." First published 1961.