Reissue of this highly acclaimed Virago title, a 'finely written, beautiful and tragic novel' - Hermione Lee, FT
Caro, gallant and adventurous, is one of two Australian sisters who have come to post-war England to seek their fortunes. Courted long and hopelessly by young scientist, Ted Tice, she is to find that love brings passion, sorrow, betrayal and finally hope. The milder Grace seeks fulfilment in an apparently happy marriage. But as the decades pass and the characters weave in and out of each other's lives, love, death and two slow-burning secrets wait in ambush for them.
'Shirley Hazzard. For me the greatest living writer on goodness and love . . . THE TRANSIT OF VENUS, was described to me by a man who knows as "the greatest novel written in the past 100 years". Having read it, I can see his point. Shirley Hazzard, the quiet, playful, lovestruck artist of love, goodness and death in the 20th century. - Bryan Appleyard
A wonderfully mysterious book ... Both plot and characters are many layered. Unforgettably rich - ANNE TYLER
A dose of the sublime .. I read it with an almost indescribable pleasure. There were sentences that brought tears of gratification to my eyes - NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
An almost perfect novel ... Miss Hazard writes as well as Stendhal - NEW YORK TIMES
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.
She 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, the Miles Franklin Award, shortlisted for The Women's Prize for Fiction (then called The Orange) and named book of the year by the Economist.
She died on December 12 2016 aged 85.