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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



(1903– ).


A new biography of Sargeson, Frank appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.

p>Frank Sargeson was born at Hamilton on 23 March 1903. As an extra-mural student of Auckland University College, he qualified in 1926 for admission as a solicitor. In the following year he travelled about Europe on foot. After returning to New Zealand in 1928 he spent 18 months as a public servant. During the next 10 years, while engaged in freelance journalism, he developed a style of story writing which, while strongly individualistic, is at the same time closely representative of New Zealand over approximately the first 30 years of this century. While working at sheep farming in the King Country and at market gardening in Auckland, he contributed mainly to the Christchurch periodical Tomorrow. A Man and His Wife (1940) confirmed the promise of a handful of sketches and stories published in 1936 as Conversation With My Uncle. During the forties Sargeson was a substantial contributor to Penguin New Writing, edited in London by John Lehmann; and his stories also appeared in England, the United States, and Australia. Since the appearance of these stories which established his reputation, Sargeson has written novels (That Summer, 1946; I Saw in My Dream, 1949; and I For One, 1954). In the fifties he turned to writing plays, and A Time for Sowing and The Cradle and the Egg were presented in Auckland by the New Independent Theatre in 1961 and 1962. Much of Sargeson's later work has appeared in the Dunedin periodical Landfall, including his long autobiographical essay Up Onto the Roof and Down Again, 1951. Besides fiction he has written many essays and some light verse. (See The Puritan and the Waif (1954), a symposium of critical essays on Sargeson's work edited by Helen Shaw.) In October 1965 Sargeson received the Katherine Mansfield Literary Award for his short story Just Trespassing, Thanks.


McLintock, Alexander Hare