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Frank Sargeson : a life

Author: Michael King
Publisher: Auckland, N.Z. : Viking, 1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Frank Sargeson (1903-82) was the first major New Zealand writer to remain in New Zealand. From the 1930s he turned New Zealand writing in a new direction, publishing short stories that 'moulded' the language and rhythm of everyday New Zealand speech into a literary form' and won acclaim throughout the English speaking world. Born in Hamilton, where his father was a leader in the Methodist church, Sargeson qualified  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biographies
Biography
Named Person: Frank Sargeson; Frank Sargeson
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael King
ISBN: 0670869007 9780670869008 0670838470 9780670838479
OCLC Number: 34576945
Description: 478 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
Responsibility: Michael King.

Abstract:

Frank Sargeson (1903-82) was the first major New Zealand writer to remain in New Zealand. From the 1930s he turned New Zealand writing in a new direction, publishing short stories that 'moulded' the language and rhythm of everyday New Zealand speech into a literary form' and won acclaim throughout the English speaking world. Born in Hamilton, where his father was a leader in the Methodist church, Sargeson qualified as a solicitor, travelled to England and Europe, then spent nearly two years on an uncle's King Country farm before establishing himself as a writer on Auckland's North Shore in 1931. Sargeson lived in Takapuna for the next fifty years. There, in a primitive family bach and later in an asbestos cottage that still stands, he wrote the stories which earned him a world-wide reputation for their compression and power. Later he wrote plays, then novels that escaped the severe boundaries he had imposed on his stories. Sargeson was a man of contradictions. While rejecting the puritanism of his youth, he was puritan in his total commitment to his calling as a writer. In genuinely poor health much of his life, he was also a hypochondriac. At times quarrelsome and even malicious, he was generous and deeply compassionate as a mentor to younger writers, notably Janet Frame, and in caring for social derelicts. He was unflinchingly honest about most things, yet every aspect of his life and writing was touched by the need to conceal his homosexuality and a traumatic court case which arose from it.

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