From the author of the award-winning The Great Fire, an extraordinary collection of stories about life in the Organisation - a polyglot crucible in which talent rots and mediocrity thrives and the 'rights of man' are unthinkingly sacrificed on the altar of inter-departmental strife.
The 'People in Glass Houses' work for an American-based concern devoted to 'inflicting improvement' the world over.
Amongst them are sloppy but erudite Algie Wyatt, Swoboda, a Slav DP, who finally rebels against a daily inflow of documentation; modest Ashmole-Brown, whose surprise best-seller unseats Sadie Graine, the all-time corridor fixer; Jaspersen, who falls in and out of love with the Organization; and Clelia Kinslake, who meets the most critical non-crisis of her career in Crete.
Shirley Hazzard's eight dazzling stories are linked by a scorching contempt for the Organization.
Born in Sydney in 1931 to a Welsh father and Scottish mother. After the end of the Second World War her father joined the Foreign Service and was posted in Hong Kong and there at the age of 16 Shirley Hazzard began working for the British Combined Intelligence Services before the family moved to New Zealand. At twenty she moved to New York and there she worked for the United Nations throughout much of the 1950s, which included a posting to Naples, a city that became much loved by her. She married Francis Steegmuller, translator and biographer in 1963 and they divided their time between Italy and New York. They were introduced by Muriel Spark.
Shirley Hazzard wrote three non-fiction books including a memoir of her friendship with Graham Greene, Greene on Capri. Her last novel, The Great Fire, won the 2003 National Book Award for fiction and the Miles Franklin Award, was shortlisted for The Women's Prize for Fiction (then called The Orange) and named a Book of the Year by The Economist. She died on December 12 2016 aged 85.