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Mentors and protégés, Margot Schwass

Mentors and protégés

Editor and writer Margot Schwass looks at Frank Sargeson and his circle.

“[There] is a notion about that I am leading a little group that I train to write in words of one syllable,” complains a leading New Zealand writer. “Dear oh dear, those who know me know that I am insatiably interested in a wide variety of writing.” Another writer emphatically rejects that he is leading a school “where everyone sound[s] the same”. Young writers, he says, “have to find a voice that is theirs, and that’s their business and no one else’s”.

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Posted in Comment

A pleasing oddness, Dougal McNeill

Letters of Frank Sargeson Sarah Shieff (ed) Vintage, $50.00, ISBN 9781869793333 Karatani Kojin, announcing the “end of modern Japanese literature” in 2004, caused some alarm amongst readers, despite Japan’s (for us, and comparatively) philosophically open-minded and expansive literary culture. Weren’t

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Posted in Letters, Non-fiction, Review

Life in the bush, by the bay, Dougal McNeill

Speaking Frankly: The Frank Sargeson Memorial Lectures 2003-2010 Sarah Shieff (ed) Cape Catley, $31.99, ISBN 9781877340277   Celebrating Katherine Mansfield: A Centenary Volume of Essays Gerri Kimber and Janet Wilson (eds) Palgrave Macmillan, $162.00, ISBN 9780230277731   It was a

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Posted in Essays, Lecture, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Writing frankly, Hugh Roberts

Frank Sargeson’s Stories Janet Wilson (ed) Cape Catley, $47.99, ISBN 9781877340284   The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography tells us that “Frank Sargeson’s major achievement was to introduce the rhythms and idiom of everyday New Zealand speech to literature”, and

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Posted in Literature, Review, Short stories

Fiction’s odd couple, Mark Williams

Gifted  Patrick Evans Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780864736376   A curious rumour about this new novel by Patrick Evans preceded its publication. The rumour was that Evans had done something exceptionally good and it came from people one didn’t

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Speaking frankly of Frank and James K, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

An Affair of the Heart: A Celebration of Frank Sargeson’s Centenary ed Graeme Lay and Stephen Stratford Cape Catley, $49.99, ISBN 0908561938 O Jerusalem – James K Baxter: An Intimate Memoir Mike Minehan Hazard Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877270385 Two icons

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Posted in Essays, Literature, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Funnier, meaner Sargeson beyond this good Life, Vincent 0’Sullivan

Frank Sargeson: A Life Michael King Penguin, $49.95 hardback (paper to come) ISBN 0 670 83847 0 It is easy to appreciate the view that impartial biography ‑ if such a thing ever really exists ‑ is not likely to

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review
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