People in Glass Houses A Novel

Shirley Hazzard




Trade Paperback

160 Pages


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Only those who keep their wit and affections about them will survive the mass conditioning of the Organization, where confusion solemnly rules and conformity is king. As in our world itself, humanity prevails in the courage, love, and laughter of singular spirits—of men and women for whom life is an adventure no Organization can quell, and whose souls remain their own.


Praise for People in Glass Houses

"A brilliant comedy on a large and serious theme."—The Saturday Review

"Places her on a high ground between Katherine Mansfield and Evelyn Waugh."—The New York Times

"It stings and alarms . . . Hazzard's strengths lies in her coolness, her modesty, and her understatement."—The Times (London)

"The comedy, irony, and pathos generated by the conflict between bureaucratic form and human content are beautifully rendered."—Dwight Macdonald

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES (Chapter One)I. Nothing in Excess'The aim of the Organization,' Mr Bekkus dictated, leaning back in his chair and casting up his eyes to the perforations of the sound-proof ceiling; 'The aim of the Organization,' he repeated with emphasis, as though he were directing a firing-squad -- and then, 'the long-range aim,' narrowing his eyes to this more distant target, 'is to fully utilize the resources of the staff and hopefully by the end of the fiscal year to have laid stress--'

Mr Bekkus frequently misused the word 'hopefully'. He also made a point of saying 'locate'

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  • Shirley Hazzard

  • Shirley Hazzard is the author of The Great Fire, winner of the National Book Award. Her other works include Greene on Capri, a memoir of Graham Greene, and several works of fiction, including The Transit of Venus, winner of the 1981 National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in New York City and maintains her long ties with Italy.
  • Shirley Hazzard Copyright Nancy Crampton