Shirley Hazzard Symposium
- When: 8th September
- Location: Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University NY
Shirley Hazzard is one of Australia’s most significant expatriate authors, and a major international literary figure by any measure. Her work has been extravagantly praised by writers and reviewers, such as Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford: ‘If there has to be one best writer working in English today it’s Shirley Hazzard.’ Similarly, novelist Michael Cunningham: ‘One of the greatest writers working in English today, and London Times critic Brian Appleyard ‘For me, the greatest living writer on goodness and love’.
The symposium, supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant will see the first ever scholarly conversation focused on the work of Shirley Hazzard, featuring distinguished scholars from Australia, the US and the UK. Hazzard’s writing will be considered in many different contexts, including for instance its literary and narrative ethics, its articulation of literal place in thechanging geographies of modernity, her distinctive stylistics of citation and aphorism, her political writing on the United Nations, and her relation to a range of literary fields – Twentieth Century Literature, Australian Literature, Women’s Writing.
Gail Jones, University of Western Sydney
John Frow, University of Melbourne
Claire Bowen, Dickinson College
Nicholas Birns, Eugene Lang College, The New School
Robert Dixon, University of Sydney
Michael Gorra, Smith College
Elizabeth McMahon, University of New South Wales
Edward Mendelson, Columbia University
Fiona Morrison, University of New South Wales
Sharon Ouditt, Nottingham Trent University
Brigid Rooney, University of Sydney
Martin Stannard, University of Leicester
The symposium will commence with a public writers’ panel co-hosted by the New York Society Library.
The Literary Significance of Shirley Hazzard
The New York Society Library
September 7, 2012
The literary significance of Shirley Hazzard’s life and work will be discussed and celebrated by a panel of distinguished authors – novelist and critic Gail Jones; biographer Martin Stannard; poet and critic Jay Parini – and chaired by poet and editor Jonathan Galassi.
Shirley Hazzard has lived in New York and Capri since 1951. Internationally, she is one of the great writers of movement, passage, transposition and transit. Her novels trace the fate of a series of young expatriate female protagonists in the geographical and emotional vistas opening up after World War II, but before the social upheavals of feminism. They take her readers into moral territory that is at once utterly sure and breached at every turn, with the certainties of romance forms tested by human vulnerability and the often brutal social and political canvas of modern life.
She has published four novels: The Evening of the Holiday (1966), The Bay of Noon (1970), The Transit of Venus (1980) and The Great Fire (2003); two collections of stories: Cliffs of Fall and Other Stories (1963) and People in Glass Houses (1967); two monographs on the United Nations: Defeat of An Ideal: A Study of the Self-Destruction of the United Nations (1973) and Countenance of Truth: The United Nations and the Waldheim Case (1990); a memoir of her friend Graham Greene: Greene on Capri: A Memoir (2000); and, most recently, a collection of her own and her late husband Francis Steegmuller’s occasional writings on Naples: The Ancient Shore: Dispatches From Naples (2008). She has received major literary awards including the 2003 US National Book Award, the 2004 Miles Franklin Award, the 2005 William Dean Howells Medal for best American novel, the 1981 US National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award, the 1977 O. Henry Short Story Award; and has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the (‘Lost’) Man Booker prize. She is a Fellow of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.
School of the Arts and Media
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