Frame's tormented personal story was reflected in much of her fiction, which centered on the inadequacy of language to convey emotions
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.
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
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
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