Short stories of Phillip Wilson
Phillip Wilson published short stories throughout his life, individually and in two collections, Some Are Lucky (1960) and South Pacific Street (1984). Regarded as a “son of Sargeson”, Wilson acknowledged this early influence and inspiration in terms of narrative structure, New Zealand voice and vernacular. However, the Sargeson focus obscures Wilson’s own style and themes: war and returning home, interpersonal relationships, racism, connections to land. I discuss his writing through three anthologised stories: The Wedding, End of the River and One World. The stories connect the reader with New Zealand life post-World War II, while their reflective subjectivity resonates beyond the time and confines of a small south Pacific nation where, as Wilson suggests, life could be lucky for some.
Katie Wilson is a researcher, writer and librarian at Victoria University of Wellington.