Wednesday, December 14, 2016

RIP Shirley Hazzard

Sad news: Shirley Hazzard, the great Australian writer, has died in Manhattan at the age of 85. (After her family moved from Australia, she lived in Europe and in the United States.) The author of several novels and nonfiction works, she is best known for her great 1976 novel “The Transit of Venus.” I read this novel soon after it was published, and then again in 2013, at which time I was struck, even more forcefully than on the first reading, with the power and insight of this gorgeously written novel. Hazzard’s understanding of human nature is impressive. (I posted about this novel on 4/2/13.) Her novels won several awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for “The Transit of Venus.” Hazzard was married to the late writer Francis Steegmuller, and had a long friendship with the writer Graham Greene as well as with other writers around the world. She will be missed, but her wonderful work lives on.
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