Shirley Hazzard was born in Synday, Australia. Due to her parents' diplomatic positions she traveled frequently as a child, living in China, New Zealand, the USA, and Italy. In the United States she worked for the United Nations in New York in the years 1952-1962. Since then she has been a professional writer and a pronounced opponent to the UN. In 1973 she Defeat of an Ideal: A Study of the Self-Deception of the United Nations. Her production as a writer of fiction includes five novels: The Evening of the Holiday (1966), People in the Glass House (1967), The Bay of Noon (1970), The Transit of Venus (1980), winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Great Fire (2003), which won the National Book Award in 2003. Hazzard, now a US citizen, divides her time between New York and Capri.