Brigitta Olubas on Shirley Hazzard

lifewritingresearchnetwork olubas

Friday 17 November, 5.30pm - 7pm

Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College



Friday 17 November 2023, 5:30pm - 7pm
Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College

Brigitta Olubas discusses the fabulous and remarkable – and hitherto underrated – novelist Shirley Hazzard.

Born and raised in Sydney Australia, Shirley Hazzard lived around the world: in Hong Kong; Wellington, New Zealand; New York; Naples and Capri and her writing — cosmopolitan, richly intelligent, beautiful, questing — reflects her life. Her body of work is small but the acclaim it attracts is immeasurable, from among others, Michael Cunningham, Zoe Heller, Ann Patchett, Anne Tyler, Lauren Goff, Hermione Lee, Joan Didion, Richard Ford, Colm Toibin.

Drawing on diaries, letters, interviews alongside a close reading of Hazzard’s fiction, Brigitta Olubas’s Shirley Hazzard: A Writing Life (2022) tells the story of a girl from the suburbs ‘with a head full of poetry’ who fell early under the spell of words and sought out first books and then people who loved books as her companions. In the process she transformed and indeed created her life. She became a woman of the world who felt injustice keenly, a deep and original thinker, who wrote some of our most beautiful fiction about love and longing, always with an eye to the ways we reveal ourselves to another.

Brigitta Olubas was born in Hobart, Tasmania and now lives in Sydney. She is professor of English at the University of New South Wales where she teaches and researches in Australian Literature. Her publications include books and essays on Australian Literature, particularly on writing by migrant, diasporic and refugee writers, and she has published extensively on and edited the work of Shirley Hazzard. She is a recent, late, and passionate convert to the practice of biography.

Author photo (above) credit: Amanda Hunt


This event will take place in the Leonard Wolfson Auditorium (LWA) (accessibility information).