Read Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard Free Online
Book Title: Great Fire|
The author of the book: Shirley Hazzard
Date of issue: 2004
ISBN 13: 9781844081394
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 29.36 MB
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Reader ratings: 3.6
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The year is 1947. The great fire of the Second World War has convulsed Europe and Asia. In its wake, Aldred Leith, an acclaimed hero of the conflict, has spent two years in China at work on an account of world-transforming change there. Son of a famed and sexually ruthless novelist, Leith begins to resist his own self-sufficiency, nurtured by war. Peter Exley, another veteran and an art historian by training, is prosecuting war crimes committed by the Japanese. Both men have narrowly escaped death in battle, and Leith saved Exley's life. The men have maintained long-distance friendship in a postwar loneliness that haunts them both, and which has swallowed Exley whole. Now in their thirties, with their youth behind them and their world in ruins, both must invent the future and retrieve a private humanity.
Arriving in Occupied Japan to record the effects of the bomb at Hiroshima, Leith meets Benedict and Helen Driscoll, the Australian son and daughter of a tyrannical medical administrator. Benedict, at twenty, is doomed by a rare degenerative disease. Helen, still younger, is inseparable from her brother. Precocious, brilliant, sensitive, at home in the books they read together, these two have been, in Leith's words, delivered by literature. The young people capture Leith's sympathy; indeed, he finds himself struggling with his attraction to this girl whose feelings are as intense as his own and from whom he will soon be fatefully parted.
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Read information about the authorAuthor of fiction and non-fiction. Born in Australia, Shirley Hazzard now holds citizenship in Great Britain and the United States.
As a child she travelled the world due to her parents’ diplomatic postings and at 16, worked for the British Intelligence in Hong Kong, monitoring civil war in China. After this she lived in New Zealand, Europe, USA and Italy. In the USA she worked for the United Nations Secretariat in New York.
Since leaving this post she has been a full-time writer and passionate opponent of the United Nations, the subject of her book Defeat of an Ideal: A Study of the Self-Destruction of the United Nations (1973). She has also written non-fiction books Countenance of Truth: the United Nations and the Waldheim Case (1990) about the Kurt Waldheim case, and Greene on Capri: A Memoir (2000) about her friend, Graham Greene. In 1985, Coming of Age in Australia was published, a collection of her Australian Broadcasting Corporation Boyer lectures.
Hazzard’s writing is as elegant and controlled as ever and this, rather than the plot, dominates her work. Her works of fiction include five novels: The Evening of the Holiday (1966); People in Glass Houses (1967); The Bay of Noon (1970); The Transit of Venus (1980); and most recently, after a break of over 20 years, The Great Fire (2003). This book was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the 2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Shirley Hazzard lives in New York.
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