Shirley Hazzard Dies

9780140107470The Australian-born author of the National Book Award-winning The Great Fire (Macmillan/Picador, orig. pub. date 2003) and the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning The Transit of Venus (PRH/Penguin, orig. pub. date 1980), Shirley Hazzard, has died at age 85.

The NYT describes her fiction as “dense with meaning, subtle in implication and tense in plot, often with disaster looming [where] Catastrophes are accompanied by life’s cruelties.”

The AP writes she “wrote of love affairs disrupted and intensified by age, distance and war … of strained and cold relationships and the inevitable search for outside comfort … She was a writer of pre-digital tastes who composed on a yellow legal pad and had no interest in computers or even an answering machine. Her novels, too, had a vintage wealth of detail and introspection that led to comparisons to Henry James.”

9780231173261_c13e8The first story she submitted to The New Yorker, “Woollahra Road,” was “fished from the slush pile by the fiction editor William Maxwell and published in 1961,” says the NYT.

Her most recent work is the 2016 collection of essays, We Need Silence to Find Out What We Think: Selected Essays, Shirley Hazzard, edited by Brigitta Olubas (Columbia University Press).

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