Hazzard was the first Australian writer I read who looked outwards, away from Australia. Her work spoke of places from which I had come and places to which I longed to go ... It was reading as an affair of revelations and gifts. It fell like rain, greening my vision of Australian literature as a stony country where I would never feel at home. In this powerful and exhilarating essay on Shirley Hazzard, Michelle de Kretser offers a masterclass in engaging with a writer’s work. She illuminates the precision of Hazzard’s electrifying prose, and celebrates the intelligence, wit and fierce humanity of her fiction. In the Writers on Writers series, leading authors reflect on an Australian writer who has inspired and fascinated them. Provocative and crisp, these books start a fresh conversation between past and present, shed new light on the craft of writing, and introduce some intriguing and talented authors and their work.