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No fretful sleeper : a life of Bill Pearson

Author: Paul Millar
Publisher: Auckland, N.Z. : Auckland University Press, 2010.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"There is no place in normal New Zealand society for the man who is different', wrote William Harrison (Bill) Pearson. One of New Zealand's most distinguished fiction writers and sharpest critics, Pearson's life was also fraught with contradiction and secrecy, largely because of his homosexuality. Born in a small town in 1922, he grew up in a society dominated by a rugged ideal of manhood; not easy for a sensitive  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Bill Pearson; Bill Pearson
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Paul Millar
ISBN: 9781869404192 186940419X
OCLC Number: 635024036
Awards: New Zealand Post Book Awards 2011 Non-Fiction Finalist.
Description: xi, 380 pages, [40] pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: A Pattern of Mysterious Events and Places --
A Strange Tribe: Family Life in Greymouth, 1913-1929 --
A Good Boy: Primary School Years, 1929-1933 --
A Solitary Boy: High School, 1934-1936 --
Toeing the Line: Greymouth, 1936-1937 --
Three Things Happened: Greymouth, 1938 --
A Farewell to Childhood: Christchurch, 1939 --
Teachers' Training College: Dunedin, 1940-1941 --
A Lasting Impression: Blackball, 1942 --
A Chance to Get his Bearings: New Zealand and Fiji, 1942-1945 --
No More Illusions: Egypt and Italy, 1945-1946 --
Living down his Past: Japan and New Zealand, 1946-1947 --
A Changed Man to a Changed New Zealand: Christchurch, 1947-1948 --
In Two Minds: Oxford, 1949 --
A Good Deal of Variety: London Activities, 1949-1954 --
Freedom from all the Kiwi Obsessions: Critical Writing and New Zealand Friends, 1949-1954 --
A Labour of Love: Writing Coal Flat in London, 1950-1954 --
A Demoralising Job: The University of Auckland English Department, I954-I963 --
Left-wingers and Communists: Politics, Culture and Family, 1954-1963 --
A Tremendous Relief: The Auckland University Māori Club, 1956-1963 --
A Kind of Amputation: Publishing Coal Flat, 1954-1963 --
A Great Packet of Love: Frank Sargeson and London Leave, 1963-1965 --
A Rock against which I Could Sometimes Gash Myself Auckland and Canberra, 1965-1970 --
Wearing Half his Heart on his Sleeve: 1970-1982 --
Sleep Easy, Bill, from this Retiring Day: 1982-2003.
Responsibility: Paul Millar.
More information:

Abstract:

"There is no place in normal New Zealand society for the man who is different', wrote William Harrison (Bill) Pearson. One of New Zealand's most distinguished fiction writers and sharpest critics, Pearson's life was also fraught with contradiction and secrecy, largely because of his homosexuality. Born in a small town in 1922, he grew up in a society dominated by a rugged ideal of manhood; not easy for a sensitive boy who preferred intellectual pursuits to sports. He went to university and teachers' training college, then taught at the tiny Black-ball School, a period from which he drew the material for his celebrated novel, Coal Flat. After serving in WW2, he received his PhD from the University of London - where distance gave him a clear critical perspective on this country of 'fretful sleepers"--Then returned to New Zealand as a scholar, editor and lecturer. Pearson's life is emblematic of vital elements, and conflicts, in 20th-century New Zealand society: intellectual culture, left-wing politics and the growing acceptance of homosexual identity and Maori and Pacific Island culture.

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