50th Anniversary Edition Owls Do Cry is Janet Frame's first novel. She describes her ideas 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 the main character, and inventing minor characters. For Daphne I chose a sensitive, poetic frail person, who, I hoped, would give depth to inner worlds and perhaps a clearer, at least an individual, perception of outer worlds. The other characters, similarly fictional, were used to portray aspects of my 'message' - the excessively material outlooks of 'Chicks', the confusion of Toby, the earthy make-up of Francie, and the toiling parents, the nearest characters to my own parents." This new edition is published to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the first publication of this novel, which has been in print ever since. Regarded by many as one of the best New Zealand novels published, it forms a loose trilogy with her two subsequent works, Faces in the Water and The Edge of the Alphabet.