Conversation in a Train and Other Critical Writings

Frank Sargeson, volume editor, Kevin Cunningham

Frank Sargeson wrote fiction for over half a century as well as occasional criticism in many forms and on many topics. Writers considered include D. H. Lawrence, Sherwood Anderson, Henry Lawson and Olive Schreiner besides fellow New Zealanders such as Katherine Mansfield, Janet Frame, Dan Davin, James Courage, Bill Pearson, and Ronald Hugh Morrieson. He was particularly concerned with societies which grew on the nineteenth-century European colonial frontiers, and with the writers they produced. A comprehensive bibliography of Sargeson’s non-fiction prose is included.



Frank Sargeson (1903–1982) was one of New Zealand’s most important and influential short fiction writers.

Kevin Cunningham (1945–2002) studied English at Otago University and at Liverpool University. In the 1970s, in partnership with Bill Manhire, he started and ran the Amphedesma Press, which published editions of New Zealand poetry. Cunningham returned to New Zealand in 1973 to a position with the Institute of International Affairs, and in 1978 he became the McNab Librarian at Dunedin Public Library. Conversations in a Train was the result of a Library School project in 1977; and School Publications published his book The New Zealand Novel in 1980.


December 1984, 220 x 140 mm, 220 pages
Hardback, ISBN 9780196480237, $39.99