Owls Do Cry is Janet Frame's first novel. She describes her idea behind it in the second volume of her autobiography:
Pictures of great treasure in the midst of sadness and waste haunted me and I began to think, in fiction, of a childhood, home life, hospital life, using people known to me as a base for main characters, and inventing minor characters.
Regarded by many as one of the best New Zealand novels published, Owls Do Cry forms a loose trilogy with her two subsequent novels, Faces in the Water and The Edge of the Alphabet.
"It is the sound that matters, finally, when I write - in fact all is for reading aloud." - Janet Frame, on publication of Owls Do Cry (1957)