'Shirley Hazzard is, purely and simply, one of the greatest writers working in the English today' (Michael Cunningham).Now at last comes the first complete book of her short stories, including those previously uncollected.
Collected Stories includes both volumes of National Book Award-winning author Shirley Hazzard's short story collections - Cliffs of Fall and People in Glass Houses - alongside uncollected works and two previously unpublished stories.
Twenty-eight works of short fiction in all, Shirley Hazzard's Collected Stories is a work of staggering breadth and talent. Taken together, Hazzard's short stories are masterworks in telescoping focus, 'at once surgical and symphonic' (New Yorker), ranging from quotidian struggles between beauty and pragmatism to satirical sendups of international bureaucracy, from the Italian countryside to suburban Connecticut.
In an interview, Hazzard once said, 'The idea that somebody has expressed something, in a supreme way, that it can be expressed; this is, I think, an enormous feature of literature'. Her stories themselves are a supreme evocation of writing at its very best: probing, uncompromising and deeply felt.
Shirley Hazzard is an author for whom there just aren't praises high enough. Wise, elegant, generous, moving - to finish reading a book of hers is to feel bereft of something sublime
The Australian-American writer's short fiction is full of precisely observed studies of thwarted connection . . . Often by portraying its absence, these stories assert the importance of true connection, in the elegant, scalpel-sharp prose for which Hazzard has been admired since her earliest work . . . the collection offers a fine introduction to a remarkable writer who deserves to go on finding new readers - Guardian (Book of the day)
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.