Shirley Hazzard: Literary Expatriate and Cosmopolitan Humanist

by Brigitta Olubas


"Olubas’s stated intention, from the outset, is to map the terrain, to pave the way for further work to be done, and this proves to be, if anything , modest with respect to what she has already achieved ... this book—exacting though it is in pursuit of the intricacies of Hazzard’s design—demonstrates what a gift intelligent, passionately engaged and theoretically attuned literary criticism can be. Olubas helps us to grasp the warp and weft of Hazzard’s ethical concerns, channelled through her commitment to the word and to her art, in her historical context and development over time. She shows us how these threads are intricately woven together, at every stage, in the realisation of what now appears as an astonishingly imaginative fictional universe, one that also makes its urgent address to the concerns of the contemporary world." – JASAL

“To read Brigitta Olubas’s Shirley Hazzard: Literary Expatriate and Cosmopolitan Humanist must be to have something like the experience of the readers of feminist recovery projects in the 1970s … As the first book on Hazzard, Olubas’s monograph makes an important contribution to contemporary literary scholarship. Yet the book’s achievement far exceeds its initiatory work … will certainly be of interest to scholars of contemporary Australian literature, new modernist studies, and gender studies. But both Hazzard and Olubas’s monograph on her are out of bounds – in the best sense. This book extends far beyond any national, aesthetic, or ideological disciplinary categories. Like Hazzard, it should travel far.” – Contemporary Women’s Writing

“Not just an intellectual exercise, or a scholarly pleasure, but also a profound relief to read.” – Southerly

"Scrupulously scholarly. Olubas's primary observations are laid down on vast tranches of secondary reading, and she situates Hazzard’s achievement within contemporary developments in literary theory. Nonetheless Olubas’s prose is lucid and, within the obligations of the academic context, elegant. Her work should be read by anyone with an interest in Hazzard or in cosmopolitanism more generally.” - The Australian

"Lucidly written, theoretically sophisticated, and scrupulously researched, Brigitta Olubas' account of Shirley Hazzard shows us just how this great cosmopolitan novelist has produced a body of work that lies outside and beyond 'terrain of the nation.'" – Michael Gorra, Mary Augusta Jordan Professor of English, Smith College

“In this original and wide-ranging study, Brigitta Olubas demonstrates how the geographical and emotional vistas that open up to the young expatriate heroines of Hazzard’s fiction are located in relation to the critique of post-war modernity in her political writing.” – Sue Sheridan, Professor of English and Women's Studies, Flinders University

“This important new book by Brigitta Olubas will transform Australian literary studies by placing the work of an expatriate writer at the centre of the field. Throughout her career, Shirley Hazzard has consistently adopted a cosmopolitan perspective as the moral and political ground of her work, and of her own unique and utterly original style. Through nuanced readings of Hazzard’s novels, stories, non-fiction and occasional writings, Olubas demonstrates how the effects of cosmopolitan mobility, of the ‘negative relation to nation’, give Hazzard’s novels their power to displace her readers from their present locations in time and space. Theoretically sophisticated, critically subtle and insightful, this is the first comprehensive study of this major twentieth-century writer, putting Hazzard at the centre of a newly worlded, international vision of Australian literature.” – Robert Dixon, Professor of Australian Literature, University of Sydney


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