Owls Do Cry tells the story of the Withers family: Francie, who is twelve and about to start work at the woollen mills, hard drudgery sweetened with the thrill of riding a bike to work; Toby, who would rather play at the dump than go to school, where the dark velvet cloak of epilepsy often wraps itself around him; Chicks, the youngest; and Daphne, whose rich poetic way of seeing the world leads to a heartbreaking life in institutions.
Janet Frame writes of hardship, poverty and tragedy with beauty and a deep sensitivity. Owls Do Cry is a poetic masterpiece.
Janet Frame is one of New Zealand's greatest writers. Born in Dunedin in 1924, she published twenty-one books in her lifetime and several posthumously. Her autobiographical work An Angel at My Table was made into a film by Jane Campion in 1990. Janet Frame died in 2004.
'Owls Do Cry glows with the inner light of (Frame's) human awareness - a cool flame that neither cauterises nor heals but in some mystic ways purifies, substituting an essential beauty for superficial pain and squalor.' Sunday Herald Tribune
'When I first read it at 14, the same age as Daphne is in the novel...her dark eloquent song captured my heart.'