Collected Stories includes both volumes of the National Book Award–winning author Shirley Hazzard’s short-story collectionsCliffs of Fall and People in Glass Housesalongside uncollected works and two previously unpublished stories
Shirley Hazzard's Collected Stories is a work of staggering breadth and accomplishment. Taken together, these twenty-eight short stories are masterworks in telescoping focus, ranging from quotidian struggles between beauty and pragmatism to satirical send-ups of international bureaucracy, from the Italian countryside to suburban Connecticut. Hazzard's heroes are high-minded romantics who attempt to fit their feelings into the twentieth-century world of office jobs and dreary marriages. After all, as she writes in "The Picnic," "It was tempting to confine oneself to what one could cope with. And one couldn't cope with love." And yet it is the comedy, the tragedy, and the splendor of love, the pursuit and the absence of it, that animates Hazzard's stories and provides the truth and beauty that her protagonists seek.
Hazzard once said, "The idea that somebody has expressed something, in a supreme way, that it can be expressed; this is, I think, an enormous feature of literature." Her stories themselves are a supreme evocation of writing at its very best: probing, uncompromising, and deeply felt.
Shirley Hazzard (1931–2016) is the author of several works of nonfiction, including Greene on Capri, a memoir of Graham Greene, and of fiction, including The Evening of the Holiday, The Bay of Noon, The Transit of Venus, and The Great Fire, winner of the National Book Award. She lived in New York City and Capri.
Brigitta Olubas is a professor of English at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Her recent books are We Need Silence to Find Out What We Think: Selected Essays by Shirley Hazzard and, with Elizabeth McMahon, Elizabeth Harrower: Critical Essays.