WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Janet Frame, who was once diagnosed as having a mental illness and became one of New Zealand's most acclaimed authors, died Thursday. She was 79.
Ms. Frame, whose autobiography was turned into the film "Angel at my Table," died in Dunedin Hospital. The hospital said she suffered from acute leukemia.
Ms. Frame was diagnosed while young as suffering from schizophrenia and came close to having a lobotomy. She published her first book, "The Lagoon and Other Stories," in 1951 and her first novel, "Owls Do Cry," in 1957.
Widely acclaimed as the most accomplished writer from New Zealand since Katherine Mansfield, Ms. Frame won accolades from New Zealand, Britain, and the United States.
In her autobiography, Ms. Frame revealed that she suffered several years of electric shock treatment for schizophrenia before doctors decided on a lobotomy. The operation was canceled after a collection of Ms. Frame's short stories won a literary prize.
When Ms. Frame later went to England, it was found her schizophrenia had been misdiagnosed. A British psychiatrist said she was just someone who preferred to be alone and was different from most other people.
Ms. Frame wrote 11 novels, five short-story collections, a poetry collection, and her three-volume autobiography.