“Only for Love”: Expatriatism, amateur reading and Shirley Hazzard’s post-war world


  • Brigitta Olubas UNSW Sydney


Shirley Hazzard, Victor Segalen, Donald Keene, Ivan Morris


Alongside Shirley Hazzard’s largely European literary coordinates are also to be found traces of other more obscure figures, and of her persistent return to other sites and cultures. If the biographical narrative of her expatriatism arcs from Sydney to Manhattan via Naples and Capri, then Hiroshima, which she visited briefly in 1947 at age 16, and which reappears in her writing as a chronotope of post-nuclear modernity, is a trace of other possible expatriate trajectories. This essay examines this chronotope through and in light of Hazzard’s long-standing friendship with two US-born scholars of Japanese literature: Ivan Morris, one of the founders of US Amnesty International, and Donald Keene, a Japanese citizen resident in Tokyo until his death in 2019, and will examine the ways these friendships and the careers of these two fellow writers, both also expatriate for much of their lives, bore on Hazzard’s understanding of her own place in the world.

Author Biography

Brigitta Olubas, UNSW Sydney

Professor of English in School of the Arts and Media at UNSW Sydney