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Hazzard, Shirley

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ha-Ke)

(Australian/US, 1931– )

Hazzard has published five works of fiction and a memoir of Graham Greene. Her novels reflect the variety of countries she has lived in (Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Italy, USA) and her work in Intelligence and for the United Nations. People in Glass Houses (1967) is a book of linked short stories which deal satirically with life in the UN. Transit of Venus (1980) tells the story of two Australian sisters who come to post-war England, one to marry, the other to seek her fortune. The award-winning The Great Fire (2004), set at the end of the Second World War, uses a bigger canvas to depict the life of Aldred Leith, a brilliant soldier who ends up in Japan after two years in China. Leith falls in love with a girl half his age, who is looking after her dying brother. Love and tenderness are thrown into poignant relief against a background of destruction, brutality, and fear for the future. Hazzard creates a haunting sense of the uncertainty and flux of that period, in precise and timeless prose.

Christina Stead, Graham Greene, Heinrich Boll  JR

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