The Transit of Venus: 2

Front Cover
Viking Press, 1980 - Fiction - 337 pages
3 Reviews
The Transit of Venus is considered Shirley Hazzard's most brilliant novel. It tells the story of two orphan sisters, Caroline and Grace Bell, as they leave Australia to start a new life in post-war England. What happens to these young women -- seduction and abandonment, marriage and widowhood, love and betrayal -- becomes as moving and wonderful and yet as predestined as the transits of the planets themselves. Gorgeously written and intricately constructed, Hazzard's novel is a story of place: Sydney, London, New York, Stockholm; of time: from the fifties to the eighties; and above all, of women and men in their passage through the displacements and absurdities of modern life.

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User Review  - bcquinnsmom - LibraryThing

Set in Indonesia just before, during and just after the ouster of Indonesian leader Sukarno by a coup, the novel is narrated by a journalist named Cookie, whose role here seems to be as a father ... Read full review

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User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

The heat, the sweltering thick of things puts you there. So intimately there. Such a volitile, scary time/place in history. Read full review


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About the author (1980)

Born on January 30, 1931, in Sydney, Australia, Shirley Hazzard studied at Queenwood College until 1946. After leaving Queenwood, Hazzard went to work for the British Intelligence, Hong Kong Division. Also an employee of the British High Commissioner's Office in Wellington, New Zealand, and a technical assistant to under-developed countries for the United Nations, Hazzard started to write for a living in the early 1960s. Hazzard's first work as an author, Cliffs of Fall and Other Stories, was published by Knopf in 1963. Among some of Hazzard's other works are The Evening of the Holiday, People in Glass Houses: Portraits from Organization Life, The Bay of Noon, and History Countenance of Truth. In her novel The Transit of Venus, Hazzard tells the story of two Australian-born orphaned sisters who make their way to England for a better life. A Guggenheim fellow in 1974 and the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 1981, Hazzard has lived in Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, The United States, and Italy.

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