Imatge de l'autor

Shirley Hazzard (1931–2016)

Autor/a de The Great Fire

14+ obres 4,404 Membres 93 Ressenyes 14 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Shirley Hazzard was born in Sydney, Australia on January 30, 1931. Before becoming an author in the early 1960s, she went to work for the British Combined Intelligence Services in Hong Kong, was an employee of the British High Commissioner's Office in Wellington, New Zealand, and was a technical mostra'n més assistant to under-developed countries for the United Nations. Her first book, Cliffs of Fall and Other Stories, was published in 1963. Her other books include The Evening of the Holiday, People in Glass Houses, The Bay of Noon, Greene on Capri, Countenance of Truth: The United Nations and the Waldheim Case, Defeat of an Ideal, and The Ancient Shore: Dispatches From Naples written with her husband Francis Steegmuller. She won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1980 for The Transit of Venus and the National Book Award for fiction in 2003 for The Great Fire. She died on December 12, 2016 at the age of 85. (Bowker Author Biography) Shirley Hazzard's books include "The Evening of the Holiday", "The Bay of Noon", & "The Transit of Venus" (winner of the 1981 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction). (Publisher Provided) mostra'n menys
Crèdit de la imatge: Christopher Peterson

Obres de Shirley Hazzard

The Great Fire (2003) 1,926 exemplars
The Transit of Venus (1980) 1,319 exemplars
The Bay of Noon (1970) 301 exemplars
Greene on Capri (2000) 235 exemplars
The Evening of the Holiday (1966) 174 exemplars
Collected Stories (2020) 123 exemplars
People in Glass Houses (1967) 92 exemplars
Countenance of Truth (1990) 22 exemplars
Coming of age in Australia. (1985) 4 exemplars

Obres associades

The Treasury of English Short Stories (1985) — Col·laborador — 84 exemplars
Prize Stories 1988: The O. Henry Awards (1988) — Col·laborador — 35 exemplars
Antaeus No. 75/76, Autumn 1994 - The Final Issue (1994) — Col·laborador — 32 exemplars
Italy: The Best Travel Writing from the New York Times (2004) — Col·laborador — 22 exemplars


Coneixement comú



Read in Naples. Lovely and exquisite, and full of feeling for this crazily vibrant city. Gorgeous prose.
fmclellan | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Jan 23, 2024 |
Weirdly good. Beautiful, off kilter writing. Strange segues, but a long fascinating tale which perfectly describes the twists and turns and come rounds of life. A pretty amazing book.
BookyMaven | Hi ha 26 ressenyes més | Dec 6, 2023 |
Hazzard begins Ancient Shore with an abbreviated autobiography of her childhood and how she discovered Italy. From there, different essays connect Naples to its culture, politics, history, and endless charm. Hazzard remembers Naples of the 1950s so there is a nostalgic air to her writing. Because Ancient Shore is a little dated, I wondered if some of the details are still accurate. I guess I will have to travel there to find out!
Hazzard's husband, Francis Steegmuller, steps in for a story about a violent mugging he experienced. His tale is terrible. Terrible because he was warned many times over not to carry his bag a certain way. Terrible because the violence caused great ever-lasting injury. Terrible, above all, because he knew better. This was not his first time in Naples.… (més)
SeriousGrace | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Sep 9, 2023 |
I have read Hazzard’s Great Fire and, sadly, do not share Liam’s enthusiasm. First and foremost, I did not think that either Aldred Leith or Helen Driscoll, the two major characters, was particularly well-drawn or fleshed out. I found the story more about the relationship than about two individuals. In addition, I was surprised that I didn’t find either one of them particularly sympathetic, certainly not as much as, for example, as Peter Exley, a major character whom Hazzard essentially drops entirely when his story seems to get in her way. Her sudden and virtually total dispensation with this character I found inexplicable. Just as startling is her dropping of Ben, another central character for at least the first half of the novel. Not only is he essentially dropped, he is disposed of late in the book in a matter of a few quick sentences.
Hazzard spends little time drawing minor characters. Thus, Helen's parents barely register; they occupy one very early scene and then become stick figures, as are virtually all of the minor characters, with a couple noteworthy exceptions. Minor characters can be minor and yet well-drawn, with depth, fullness, and even a modicum of complexity. That simply wasn’t the case with Great Fire.
I thought the last chapters on Leith in England and Helen in NZ were overlong and added little to either the characters or the plot or even to Hazzard’s theme(s). I am also baffled that Hazzard reintroduces a very minor character (Raimonda Mancini) for all of a paragraph. Moreover, the introduction of so many new characters toward the end—Aurora Searle and an entire cast of people in NZ—felt like padding: it was beside the point, unnecessary to the plot or the theme(s), and ultimately more distracting than anything else. These chapters added virtually nothing to the picture we already had of Leith and Helen.
I also found most of the characters to be so self-involved that I honestly had trouble accepting them as real or as sympathetic. Yes, we are all self-involved to a degree. But not so deeply and constantly as the characters here are. Helen also seemed to me to be far too “wise” for her age. Few 18-year-old women talk or think as she does. Hell, few 28-year-olds, for that matter. Why does it bother me? Because, in the end, I found it very challenging to consider her a believable character.
The “tone” of so many conversations also seemed off: most people’s conversations do not wax philosophic all the time. Sometimes, sure. But virtually all the time? Angst, world-weariness, metaphysical speculation are constants here. Moreover, everyone speaks in the same voice: well-spoken, “literate” and not much like “real” people—or maybe I should say not the people I know. (Maybe that should be a lesson to me.) There is virtually no distinguishing one character from another: they all have the same tone, the same literate vocabulary, regardless of background, interests, or position.
All this said, I still think Hazzard tells a (mostly) interesting story and her themes are worthwhile and (mostly) well set out. She is a good writer—though I for one found her stylistic tics (sentences without subjects, sentence fragments) offputting. Having poked around a bit, I recognize that this book is highly regarded, so take my criticisms with a grain (or more) of salt. No doubt others (maybe most) will disagree. But that's my take.
… (més)
Gypsy_Boy | Hi ha 40 ressenyes més | Aug 26, 2023 |



Potser també t'agrada

Autors associats


També de
½ 3.6

Gràfics i taules