Shirley Hazzard was born in Australia, and in early years traveled the world with her parents due to their diplomatic postings. In 1963, she married the writer Francis Steegmuller, who died in 1994. Hazzard's novels include The Evening of the Holiday (1966), The Bay of Noon (1970), and The Transit of Venus (1981). She is also the author of People in Glass Houses (1967), which is a collection of short stories, as well as the nonfiction works Defeat of an Ideal (1973), Countenance of Truth (1990), and Greene on Capri (2000), the last of which is a memoir. Hazzard's most recent novel, The Great Fire, won the National Book Award in 2004.