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Miriam Frank

About Miriam Frank

I was born in Spain during the Civil War, spent my early years in Vichy France, went through primary school in Mexico and secondary school and university in New Zealand, where I graduated in medicine.

I returned to Europe and settled in London, where I obtained my London Fellowship in Anaesthesia and was appointed Senior Lecturer and Consultant at the Royal London Hospital.

Concurrent with my hospital work and since retiring, I have translated literary works from Spanish into English and launched into my own writing. My autobiography, My Innocent Absence, Arcadia Books, was published in 2010, and its sequel, An Unfinished Portrait, Gibson Square Books, in 2017. My books have been translated into French and Greek and published by Éditions De Fallois and Kapon Edition.

I married the German painter Rudolf Kortokraks and have two daughters and three grandsons.

My Innocent Absence


"A poignant and beautifully written saga of migrations, which punctuates the history of our times…"

Moris Farhi

"Elegantly written and fascinating."

Fay Weldon

"Absolutely riveting."

Amanda Hopkinson

"Frank reviews the period with a fresh eye. This is truly a new story…"



Longlisted for the PEN/Ackerley Prize for a literary autobiography of outstanding merit.

My Innocent Absence

"Her voyages have nothing to do with the Paul Theroux school of travel writing … They became the real life characters at Rick’s Café in Casablanca'       

Camden New Journal



‘A dramatic and quite gripping autobiography’

Buenos Aires Herald

"Miriam Frank raconta la sua vita in un libro fantastico, commovente”

Italia Sera, Rome


'Miriam Frank’s history-enforced peregrinations are extraordinary, but much more extraordinary yet is the inner struggle, the quality of the quest and her enquiry into human behaviour.’

Kapka Kassabova


"It isn’t surprising that physicians often make excellent writers - they are trained to observe. Miriam Frank is one of that great line of physicians turned writers that includes Chekhov, Maugham and Keats. In Miriam’s case the flawless professionalism of the surgery flows seamlessy into flawless prose that has echoes of Lawrence and Proust. This book thoroughly emerges the reader in the human condition from birth to death and back again.”

Edward Wilson

My Innocent Absence  
My Innocent Absence An Unfinished Portrait, Journeys Around my Mother. 

A woman’s journey to understand the life of her mother – a life of turmoil, transition and passion, set against the backdrop of mid-twentieth century Europe. Beautifully written and full of subtle insight, An Unfinished Portrait is a reflection on love and memory, mothers and daughters, and the things we must let go of to make room for the new.

"A mother - beautiful, political and passionate - flees the continents, always just one step ahead of catastrophe. The daughter she takes with her suffers, wonders, and decades later reports. An extraordinary history, an elegantly written and fascinating book.” Fay Weldon

"This is not just a memoir, but a historical document. The book ends with a collection of letters, beautifully written under harrowing circumstances, which leaves the reader shouting, ‘Never again!’ This is, however, a book of great optimism. In the end, civilisation, friendship, love, beauty, art – and sheer endurance – prove more lasting than anything the barbarians can offer. Not just a poignant memoir, but a serious warning.’ Edward Wilson

She healed the scars of her dead mother’s soul by writing this beautiful, heartrending book.” Hanan Al-Shaykh