Owls Do Cry

Posted by on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame

Janet Frame is another one of those authors whose books I ration.  I discovered Frame’s work after I fell for Jane Campion’s work.  The Piano led to An Angel at My Table, which was based on Frame’s autobiography of the same name and some of her other work.  Frame died a few years ago after a life of tragedy, astounding accomplishments, and gorgeous writing.  Some writers wish they would write like Dickinson or Faulkner or Shakespeare . . . I wish I could write like Frame. 

Owls Do Cry was Frame’s first semi-autobiographical novel.  It follows a New Zealand family through the death of a daughter, the mental illness and subsequent institutionalization of another, and the general tragedies of  deeply injured  children.  But the plot isn’t what normally matters in Frame’s books.  her language is intense, and beautiful, and poetic.  And right–always right.  I’m sure I’ll read it again. 

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