We Need Silence to Find Out What We Think: Selected Essays


Product Details

Columbia University Press
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.4 X 0.9 inches | 1.2 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Shirley Hazzard won the National Book Award for her 2003 novel The Great Fire and the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Transit of Venus. She is the author of The Evening of the Holiday and The Bay of Noon, which was nominated for the Lost Booker Prize; Greene on Capri, a memoir of Graham Greene; and People in Glass Houses, a short-story collection based on her time at the United Nations. She lives in New York City and Capri.

Brigitta Olubas is professor of English in the School of the Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales. She is an editor of the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature and the author of Shirley Hazzard: Literary Expatriate and Cosmopolitan Humanist.


This book shows that Hazzard is a fierce defender of the humanistic belief in the efficacy of literature (especially poetry) and art to illuminate the truth and to provide meaningful insight into the mystery of human existence.--Michael Collier, author of An Individual History
Hazzard's essays are full of crystalline turns of phrase and aphoristic expressions of her core humanist principles--as well as of revealing, often fascinating, political contradictions. Scholars and students of Hazzard will strike gold.--Claire Seiler, Dickinson College
An elegant and cultured collection.--Andy Miller "The Spectator "
We Need Silence to Find Out What We Think manages the difficult task of making old-school, mid-century liberal humanism feel alive, urgent and necessary once again.--Geordie Williamson "The Australian "
Breathtaking and challenging.--Sarah Murdoch "The Toronto Star "
Absorbing.... Illuminating.... Throughout this brief, captivating collection, which also includes essays on literature, history, and travel, Hazzard is articulate and humane.--Rona Cran "Times Literary Supplement "
From We Need Silence to Find Out What We Think, Shirley Hazzard emerges, to paraphrase Olubas, as eloquent, thoughtful, civil, and intellectually generous.--Brian Matthews "Australian Book Review "
In these essays there is a lovely sense of witnessing a brilliant and judicious mind at work. Shirley Hazzard has a way of finding the right phrase, and capturing a tone and a rhythm, that offer a sort of sensuous pleasure to the reader. She cares passionately about writing, the life of the mind, and also the public realm. As in her novels, her essays display the quality of her sympathy, her ability to make distinctions as well as connections, and her acute analysis. She is an inspiring presence in our literary lives, and having these essays is both a gift and a revelation.--Colm Tóibín
A rich, urbane, insightful collection.--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Hazzard employs language like a knife, with precision and incisiveness.... What comes through most clearly is Hazzard's delight in the English language and its capacity for expression and communication.--Publishers Weekly
Her fiction, with its stylistic elegance and intellectual verve, is quite enough to warrant our admiration.--Los Angeles Review of Books