Janet Frame Owls Do Cry

ISBN 13: 9781743115190

Owls Do Cry

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Owls Do Cry is the story of the Withers family: Francie, soon to leave school to start work at the woollen mills; Toby, whose days are marred by the velvet cloak of epilepsy; Chicks, the baby of the family; and Daphne, whose rich, poetic imagination condemns her to a life in institutions.

'Janet Frame's first full-length work of fiction, Owls Do Cry, is an exhilarating and dazzling prelude to her long and successful career. She was to write in several modes, publishing poems, short stories, fables and volumes of autobiography, as well as other novels of varied degrees of formal complexity, but Owls Do Cry remains unique in her oeuvre. It has the freshness and fierceness of a mingled cry of joy and pain. Its evocation of childhood recalls Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience, as well as the otherworldly Shakespearean lyric of her title and epigraph, but her handling of her dark material is wholly original' Margaret Drabble

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Review:

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 (Hilary Mantel)

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. (Jane Campion)

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 remains innovative and relevant; Frame's idiosyncratic and startlingly visual style means that the book's immense power to unnerve, astonish and impress endures (Guardian)

An unforgettable and startlingly original work, a true and timeless classic of enduring power (Margaret Drabble)

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 (Eleanor Catton)

Book Description:

Owls Do Cry is the first novel of one of New Zealand's most acclaimed classic writers, Janet Frame. Hailed as a masterpiece on first publication in 1957, it is comparable to Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey.

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