The Great Fire is Shirley Hazzard's first novel since The Transit of Venus, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1981. The conflagration of her title is the Second World War. In war-torn Asia and stricken Europe, men and women, still young but veterans of harsh experience, must reinvent their lives and expectations, and learn, from their past, to dream again. Some will fulfill their destinies, others will falter. At the center of the story, a brave and brilliant soldier finds that survival and worldly achievement are not enough. His counterpart, a young girl living in Occupied Japan and tending her dying brother, falls in love, and in the process discovers herself.

With the looming shadow of world conflict resumed, and of Asia's coming centrality in world affairs, a man and a woman seek to recover self-reliance, balance, and tenderness, struggling to reclaim their humanity.



ISBN: 9781844081394
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Publication Date: 6 Nov 2003
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 21.7(H) x 13.4(L) x 2.3(W)
Weight (gm): 380



'I wish there were a set of words like 'brilliant' and 'dazzling' that we saved for only the rarest occasions, so that when I tell you THE GREAT FIRE is brilliant and dazzling you would know it is the absolute truth. This is a book that is worth a twenty-year wait.' --Ann Patchett, author of BEL CANTO

'Shirley Hazzard has written an hypnotic novel that unfolds like a dream: Japan, Southeast Asia, the end of one war and the beginning of another, the colonial order gone, and at the center of it all, a love story.' - Joan Didion

'Shirley Hazzard is, purely and simply, one of the greatest writers working in English today. Which makes me more than grateful to have this long-hoped for new novel.' Michael Cunningham

'The Great Fire is a brilliant, brave and sublimely written novel that allows the literate reader the consolation of having touched infinity . This wonderful book, which must be read at least twice simply to savour Hazzard s sentences and set-pieces, is among the most transcendent works I ve ever had the pleasure of reading.' - Anita Shreve

a quiet and exquisitely crafted novel the most interesting work of fiction published this year - The Economist

this is a book with a mature, complex voice - Helen Rumbelow, The Times

wonderful stuff - Sunday Express

a fascinating read, showing us a past that is unbearably alive, almost immanent - Rachel Cus


Author Biography

Shirley Hazzard is the author of Greene on Capri, a memoir of Graham Greene, as well as several works of fiction, including The Transit of Venus, a Virago Modern Classic. She won the 1981 National Book Critics' Circle Award and divides her time between New and Capri.
The Great Fire

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