A lovely gesture from the staff of the University of Otago's Hocken Collections, on Janet Frame's 85th birthday. The springtime bloom of the flowering currant tree was indeed one of Janet's favourite flowers.
Janet Frame had a long association with Dunedin's Hocken Library. She made the first of several significant and generous deposits of her papers to that archive nearly 45 years ago (in 1965).
Janet Frame's personal and literary papers are not yet available for public perusal because Frame requested there be a period of at least 15 years of respectful privacy to follow her death. In the meantime her papers are being catalogued and her executors are carrying out the programme of posthumous publication that Frame had always envisaged would take place. She always insisted and hoped that attention should be paid to her work rather than to her life, and her literary guardians are bruised but not broken in their battles to carry out her wishes.
For various reasons, she did not publish all the work she wrote. In some cases, the delay was to preserve her own privacy or the privacy of others.
Other important birthdays are commemorated by the Hocken staff. A floral tribute is also made in honour of the May birthday of major benefactor Charles Brasch. His favourite flower was the anemone, and I understand that it's quite a chore to track down that flower at that time of year!
(Photos courtesy of Hocken Librarian, Sharon Dell)