Hazzard and Harrower

The letters

9781742238180
NewSouth
Edited by Brigitta Olubas, Susan Wyndham
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Shirley Hazzard and Elizabeth Harrower met in person for the first time in London in 1972, six years after they began a correspondence that would span four decades. They exchanged letters, cards and telegrams, and made occasional phone calls between Harrower’s home in Sydney and Hazzard’s apartments in New York, Naples and Capri. The two women wrote to each other of their daily lives, of impediments to writing, their reading, politics and world affairs, and in Hazzard’s case, her travels. And they wrote about Hazzard’s mother, for whose care Harrower took increasing — and increasingly reluctant — responsibility from the early 1970s (precisely the period when she herself virtually stopped writing).

Edited by Brigitta Olubas, Hazzard’s official biographer, and Susan Wyndham, who interviewed both Hazzard and Harrower, this is an extraordinary account of two literary luminaries, their complex relationship and their times.

Hazzard and Harrower is a book to keep close and return to often.’ – Michelle de Kretser

‘Vital, compelling, terrifying, revelatory – and a literary pleasure in its own right.’ – Anna Funder

‘Beautiful, wise and unflinching. Will we ever have a chance like this again to eavesdrop on two great writers as they talk books, people and the world for forty years?’ – David Marr

‘An engrossing portrayal of forty years of complicated friendship between two writers, only one of whom has the steel – or is it the ruthlessness? – to put her art before everything else.’ – Charlotte Wood

‘I read these letters with mounting excitement. There is a righteous delight in seeing female talent reclaimed: two great Australian writers finally treated with the care and rigour they deserve.’ – Diana Reid

'This volume of letters – copious, lively and affectionate – is the latest work in the devoted re-presentation of both women.' – Gail Jones, Sydney Morning Herald/The Age

9781742238180
Contributor Bio

Brigitta Olubas is professor of English at the University of New South Wales. She is the acknowledged expert on the writing of Shirley Hazzard and is Hazzard’s authorised biographer. She coedited the first collection of essays on the writing of Elizabeth Harrower and is the author of Shirley Hazzard: A writing life and Shirley Hazzard: Literary expatriate and cosmopolitan humanist.

Susan Wyndham is a journalist and writer. As New York correspondent for The Australian newspaper and literary editor of the Sydney Morning Herald she interviewed Shirley Hazzard and Elizabeth Harrower. She is the author of Life in His Hands: The true story of a neurosurgeon and a pianist and editor of My Mother, My Father: On losing a parent.

9781742238180
9781742238180