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PM pays tribute to Janet Frame

29 January 2004 Media Statement

PM pays tribute to Janet Frame

Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark today paid tribute to writer Janet Frame, who died this morning, saying her contribution to literature in New Zealand and internationally was immense.

“The news of Janet’s death is very sad. She was an inspirational figure to not only the writing community but to many New Zealanders from all walks of life.

“Janet Frame was a special person. While her humility was renowned, she was a most engaging personality with a wickedly funny sense of humour and a generosity of spirit.

“Janet’s achievements were immense. She ranks as one of New Zealand’s finest ever novelists, with an international reputation second to none.

“She became a household figure for many New Zealanders following the publication of her award-winning, three-volume autobiography, and the subsequent film of the books, An Angel at my Table; and in the Michael King biography.

“She won a many awards in a glittering career which saw 11 novels, five short story collections, a poetry collection and her autobiography. She won the Hubert Church Memorial Award in 1952 for her first publication, The Lagoon and Other Stories; an honorary Doctor of Literature from Otago University in 1978; the inaugural Turnovsky Prize in 1984; and the 1990 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. She was believed to have been short-listed for the Nobel Literature Prize on a number of occasions.

“She was made a member of the Order of New Zealand and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Last year, she received an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Award and in September she was one of the inaugural winners of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

“Her passing is a tremendous loss and she will be mourned by lovers of literature throughout the world,” Helen Clark said.


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