14 January 2016
It's publication day in the UK for the latest edition of Janet Frame's first novel Owls Do Cry.
Publisher Little, Brown has produced a beautiful paperback in the Virago Modern Classics imprint and this edition is also available as an ebook.
There is an illuminating introduction by Margaret Drabble.
I love the cover - the woman looks as though she is taking a selfie! Right up to date! And that's the general opinion of Frame's work - it's fresh and relevant still, even nearly 60 years after it was first published. (And Owls Do Cry has never been out of print in all that time.)
As Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton, Frame's fellow Kiwi, said at the Jaipur Literature Festival:
"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."
As with the other Janet Frame books available from Virago Press, the VMC edition of Owls Do Cry will be widely available around the world in non-English-speaking countries (where there is nevertheless a demand for quality English literature!) and also in British Commonwealth territories except for New Zealand and Australia where for Owls Do Cry we are served well by the Text Classics edition published by Text Publishing of Melbourne.
There are plans afoot to release a new American edition in 2017 to mark the 60th anniversary of first publication.