Diary

Duncan McLean

One evening in 1990, when I was working as a janitor in a small town under the Forth bridges, I went to see An Angel at My Table, Jane Campion’s film about her fellow New Zealander, the writer Janet Frame. In the film we see Frame, played by Kerry Fox, recently released from a long spell in a mental hospital, given shelter and support by a white-goateed older writer called Frank Sargeson, played by Martyn Sanderson. She lives and types in his garden shed, finishes a novel, and sends it off to a publisher he has recommended. The novel is accepted and Sargeson waves at the garden gate as Frame leaves for Europe on a literary scholarship.

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