Monday, January 12, 2009

Tourist Treasure

Alison Albiston, one of the founding trustees of the Eden Street Trust, poses in front of Janet Frame's childhood home.

The Otago Daily Times has reported an increase in the number of overseas visitors to the Frame house in Oamaru this summer.

The article on the success of the 56 Eden Street project appeared late in December and was graced by several photographs of the house and of its genial curator Ralph Sherwood.

I was speaking to Ralph on the phone today and he confirmed that numbers are up this year, and that he has welcomed quite a few fans from the UK (among other places), enthusiastic to see the house after having read about Oamaru in Towards Another Summer.

The posthumous novel has attracted a lot of positive attention in the UK since Virago Press released it in July 2008. There have been several reprints and the paperback is due to be released mid-2009.

Virago issued an attractive new edition of Janet Frame's autobiography An Angel at My Table in January 2008, complete with an updated set of photographs, and this will also have served to refresh the interest of the UK reading public in Janet Frame's life and work.

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