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 other 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 two collections of short fiction, Cliffs of Fall and Other Stories (1963) and People in Glass Houses (1967). Her nonfiction works include Defeat of an Ideal (1973), Countenance of Truth (1990), and the memoir Greene on Capri (2000). Her most recent novel, The Great Fire, won the National Book Award in 2004.