Literary Lives: The World of Francis Steegmuller and Shirley Hazzard
March 24, 2010-January 31, 2011
curated by Harriet Shapiro
"Whether I wake these mornings in Naples to the Mediterranean lapping the seawall or on Capri to the sight of a nobly indifferent mountain, it is never without realizing, in surprise and gratitude, that I - like Goethe, like Byron - am living in Italy." - Shirley Hazzard, The Ancient Shore
This was the first exhibition ever devoted to the extraordinary literary couple Shirley Hazzard and Francis Steegmuller.
Mr. Steegmuller was a Library member from 1944 until his death in 1994. He is remembered best for his translations; his 1957 rendering of Flaubertís Madame Bovary is considered among the finest. He also wrote a seminal biography of Flaubert, highly praised works on Apollinaire and Maupassant, and the National Book Award-winning Cocteau: A Biography, as well as several works of fiction.
Ms. Hazzard became a member in 1963 and has served on the Board since 1974. She is the author of fifteen books including The Transit of Venus and The Great Fire. She has received an O. Henry Award, a National Book Critics Award, and a National Book Award for her fiction. Her literary travel memoirs Greene on Capri and The Ancient Shore: Dispatches from Naples are also of enduring importance.
Along with celebrating these two significant writers, the exhibition presented and preserved the experiences and reflections of this gifted and eloquent woman who has served the Library for more than three decades.