by Janet Frame - £8.99 Virago Press Ltd (2016)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780349006673 | ISBN 10: 0349006679
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 Plaths's The Bell Jar and Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
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"
(Price & availability last checked: January 2016)