Janet Frame (1924-2004) is New Zealand's most famous writer. She
was a novelist, poet, essayist and short-story writer. She sought
the support and company of fellow writers and set out
single-mindedly and courageously to achieve her goal of being a
writer. She wrote her first novel, Owls Do Cry while staying with
her mentor Frank Sargeson, and then left New Zealand, not to return
for seven years.
Her autobiography inspired Jane Campion's acclaimed film, An Angel at My Table. She was an honorary foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Literature and won the Commonwealth Literature Prize. In 1983 she was awarded the CBE.
Janet Frame was a unique and troubled soul whose luminous words are
the more precious because they were snatched from the jaws of the
disaster of her early life
Owls Do Cry remains innovative and relevant; Frame's idiosyncratic and startlingly visual style means that the book's immense power to unnerve, astonish and impress endures
This is the era that saw the emergence of novelists including Doris Lessing, Muriel Spark and Iris Murdoch, and Frame's place alongside them would be assured if she never published anything but this one novel
*Independent on Sunday*
Owls Do Cry is a devastating reflection on the character of conventional society and the dangers that await those who reject its narrowness - and as such, is profoundly chilling. It is also a vivid social document, capturing the language and texture of the postwar period
Janet Frame's first novel, Owls Do Cry, created a sensation in New Zealand when it was published in 1957 . . . Her dark, eloquent song captured my heart . . . Frame gave Daphne this inner world of gorgeously imagined riches, but also affirmed it in me, and in countless other sensitive teenage girls: we had been given a voice - poetic, powerful and fated.
Frame's tormented personal story was reflected in much of her fiction, which centered on the inadequacy of language to convey emotions
*Los Angeles Times*
An unforgettable and startlingly original work, a true and timeless classic of enduring power
Janet Frame is the greatest New Zealand writer. She is utterly herself. Any one of her books could be published today and it would be ground-breaking