Actor Kerry Fox as Janet Frame, reading at the door of the garden hut* where Frame wrote her first novel OWLS DO CRY. Scene from Jane Campion's film adaptation of Janet Frame's autobiography, AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE.
"Frame’s experimental debut novel is part of a piece with some extraordinary work by women writers in the 1950s. 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.
It’s a mixture of the bleak and the humorous, the everyday and the magical, as she tells the story of the Withers family. Frame’s unique voice, fragmented in places, superbly cohesive in others, drives the individual members on to their particular fates.
The sense of inescapable doom is surprisingly not as claustrophobic as one might aspect, though, thanks to the dancing of the words, their light and life."
18 January 2016
* The real hut was smaller!