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, in Hazzard’s case, her travels. And they wrote about Hazzard’s mother, for whose care Elizabeth 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