Good Reading : December January 2010
14 goodreading ı DECEMBER 2009 / JANUARY 2010 Janet Frame (1924--2004) was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, but spent a for mative 12 years of her childhood in the small town of Oamaru, 119 kilometres from the bustle of the city. In her lifetime, she wrote 12 novels, five short story collections, one book of poetry and three volumes of her autobiography. Her writing reflects what she couldn't express in real life; and is a blend of heart-breaking experiences with mental illness and the capacity for capturing the essence of landscape, tionships and racter. The day I visit maru to discover the obel Prize-nominated iter's childhood wn, the buildings e shrouded with fog d mist. The beautiful ublic gardens drip ith moisture but e still filled with ughing children nd admiring adults. The yellow-eyed enguins are at sea nd the coastline is grey and foamy. In own, tourists are wandering in and out of Oamaru's collection of Victorian limestone buildings, visiting various galleries, the whisky distillery and the tea-houses. Oh, and the eclectic secondhand bookshops.Trying hard not to get sidetracked into those shops -- and therefore lose myself -- I make my way to the tourist infor mation centre to find out more about Janet Frame. It's rare to see a town so proud of a literary figure. Oamaru proudly asserts its rights to Frame and provides a number of activities to track the early years of this writer. With brochure in hand, you can visit every one of the significant landmarks mentioned in her autobiographies, To the Is-Land and An Angel at My Table: her primary and high schools; the railway station where her father worked; the town baths where her ter Myrtle drowned and even he simple family plot where her hes -- and those of her parents nd sisters Myrtle and Isabelle are inter red. By following the our, you see Waimaru -- the ictional town featured in her novel Owls Do Cry -- unfold before you. Oamaru Janet Frame's PAM HARVEY visits the town that proudly claims as its own the celebrated New Zealand author, JANET FRAME. writer's life Photograph of Janet Frame by Reg Graham. Photograph of yellow-eyed penguin by David Monniaux; photo of Oamaru Graves track by M Seses; both are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3. 0 License Janet Frame Oamaru Graves Track, New Zealand. The yellow- eyed penguin.