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Shirley Hazzard: A Writing Life

Brigitta Olubas

5 Reviews

Rated 0

Biography: literary

At last - the authorised biography of Shirley Hazzard, one of the greatest writers in the English language, author of The Great Fire, The Transit of Venus and Greene on Capri, winner of the National Book Award, the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for The Women's Prize for Fiction

Cosmopolitan, richly intelligent, beautiful, questing - Shirley Hazzard's writing reflects her life. The acclaim it attracts is immeasurable.

Brigitta Olubas tells the story of a girl from the suburbs of Sydney, Australia who fell early under the spell of words and sought out books as her companions. In the process she transformed and indeed created her life. She became a woman of the world who felt injustice keenly and a deep and original thinker, who wrote some of the most beautiful novels - Transit of Venus and The Great Fire among them - and always with an eye to the ways we reveal ourselves to another.

'One of those rare biographies that sends one greedily back to the subject's word, better equipped to appreciate the richness on display'
LUCY SCHOLES, Financial Times

'Strikingly well-placed and well-proportioned... as befits her subject, Olubas comes with a gift for place and psychology'
MICHAEL HOFMANN, Times Literary Supplement

'This new account of Hazzard's life should confirm her as one of the 20th century's greatest novelists'
CHLOE SCHAMA, Vogue

'An impeccably researched and deeply incisive account of Hazzard's life and work, and the intriguing interplay between the two'
LILY KING, New York Times

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Praise for Shirley Hazzard: A Writing Life

  • Superb... Strikingly well-placed and well-proportioned in its relation of a long life, and keeps a sound balance of youth and age, and books and life... Like and as befits her subject, Olubas comes with a gift for place and psychology - Times Literary Supplement

  • Lambent, discerning, deeply intelligent and empathetic... illuminated by Olubas's understanding of the elemental, almost alchemical interplay between Hazzard's lived experience and her fiction... one of those rare biographies that sends one greedily back to the subject's work, better equipped to appreciate the richness on display - Financial Times

  • Meticulously crafted... Olubas's biography is more than just a map of the author's movements... It's an account, as she puts it, of 'a writer in the process of making herself', chronicling how geographic, political, and psychic influences coalesce in a refined, deeply insightful perspective... This new account of Hazzard's life should confirm her as one of the 20th century's greatest novelists - Vogue

  • An impeccably researched and deeply incisive account of Hazzard's life and work, and the intriguing interplay between the two - New York Times

  • Olubas has a light touch; she presents the discrepancies between her diaries and letters without the need for invasive interpretation... She attends to Hazzard as only someone who loves her could, with generosity, fairness and a deeply human understanding - London Magazine

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Brigitta Olubas

Brigitta Olubas is professor of English in the School of the Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales, Australia. She published the first scholarly monograph on Hazzard's writing and edited Shirley Hazzard's essays, We Need Silence To Find Out What We Think and Shirley Hazzard's Collected Stories.

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