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Stories 193-194

Two by the late Janet Frame.  I was unfamiliar with Frame's work, so I did a search on her.  Apparently, she spent a good portion of her early life in various mental institutions.  Both of these stories take place in such institutions.

Story 193: Gorse Is Not People from the September 1, 2008 New Yorker.  This one is about a young woman, physically a dwarf, who has grown up in one institution or another and now expects to be set free on her 21st birthday.  We see from the outset that she is not the most complex of individuals, and that she has a rather simple view of the world outside her cage.  Is she in for a rude awakening about how the world works?

Story 194: A Night At The Opera from the June 2, 2008 New Yorker.  We never find out exactly why the narrator of this story has been placed in an institution as an adult.  We just know she is there, with the other women too unpredictable to be placed in the hospital's general population.  The narrator has a memory of seeing The Marx Brothers (although she seems not to know that is who they are) in "A Night At The Opera" as a child, and how it made her and her sister laugh uncontrollably for hours.  As part of some new hospital administrator initiative, the women in the ward are to be shown movies, and the first one chosen is "A Night At The Opera."

I'm not sure I want to find a Frame collection -- these two stories fairly depressed me, a whole book might put me over the edge.

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