From Owls do Cry to The Carpathians, the novels of Janet Frame have challenged our understanding of what fiction does. In The Frame Function, author Jan Cronin traces the operation of a prescriptive authorial presence within Frame's novels to give readers an engaging "inside-out" guide to a great writer's work. Drawing on Frame's personal and professional correspondence and the dynamic between that Frame and the various Frames of the novels, The Frame Function explores key issues around Frame's longer fiction: her relationship with her reader, the nature of the "difficulty" presented by the novels, and the questions of intentionality that Frame's work forces us to address. Each chapter offers readers a guided tour of one or more Frame novels: how they work, how Frame writes, and the impact that these fundamentals have on readers interpreting and engaging with the novels. Crafting a portrait of Frame's compositional processes, Cronin gives us new insights into Frame's status as both a controlling, manipulative author and a purveyor of elusive and indeterminate texts. The Frame Function is a guide for all those readers who are intrigued, stimulated, sometimes baffled by Frame's powerful novels.