Born and raised in Sydney, Hazzard lived around the world: in Hong Kong; New Zealand; New York; Naples and Capri and her writing - cosmopolitan, richly intelligent, beautiful, questing - reflects her life. Drawing on diaries, letters, interviews alongside a close reading of Hazzard's fiction, Brigitta Olubas, herself Australian, 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 the most beautiful fiction about love and longing, always with an eye to the ways we reveal ourselves to another. This book, the definitive biography, uncovers the truths and myths and about Shirley Hazzard's life and work.