Bio 1951 - 2011

Photograph by Mathieu Bourgois

Click here for a full list of Hazel’s Publications


Hazel Rowley was brought up in England and Australia and lived in New York City from 2005 - 2011. She died suddenly on March 1st 2011 in New York after a series of strokes (see Obituaries).

Her new book, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: An Extraordinary Marriage, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2010 and by Melbourne University Press in Australia in 2011.

She lived in Paris for 18 months in order to write Tête-à-Tête: The Tumultous Lives & Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, published by Harper Collins, New York, in 2005. The book has been translated into over a dozen languages, and has garnered considerable international acclaim — and controversy! It was a Washington Post Best Book for 2005. In Brazil it was a bestseller, and in France the literary magazine Lire named it "the best literary essay of 2006."

Rowley wrote Richard Wright: The Life and Times while she was affiliated with the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro American Studies at Harvard. Published by Henry Holt in August 2001, the book had cover reviews in the New York Times and Washington Post and was listed among the 2001 Washington Post Book World Raves. It was re-issued by Chicago University Press in March 2008.

Hazel at FDR Museum, Hudson Valley.

Christina Stead: A Biography was published by Heinemann, Australia, in 1993, where it won the 1993 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Published by Henry Holt in the US and Secker & Warburg in the UK, it was named as a New York Times Notable Book. The book was re-issued in 2007 by Miegunyah Press, Melbourne, Australia.

Hazel Rowley's essays have appeared four times in The Best Australian Essays. (See her essay "Mockingbird Country" on Harper Lee). Her essay "Beauvoir, Brazil, and 'Christina T'" was published in BookForum in April/May 2007. Back in December 1996, she mourned the dramatic changes in tertiary education in an article published in The Australian, called "Universities are losing on points." She has published articles in Partisan Review, Mississippi Quarterly, Antioch Review, Contemporary Literature, Prose Studies, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Southerly and Westerly, and has reviewed books for The Times Literary Supplement (UK), The London Times Higher Education Supplement, Boston Globe, Washington Post, The Nation, and L.A. Times.

A passionate speaker, she has appeared at numerous book festivals and literary events in the United States, Canada, the UK, France, and Australia. Her recent speaking engagements include the Athenaeum (Boston), the Smithsonian (Washington), the New York Society Library, the Alliance Francaise, Chicago, and the Sydney Writers' Festival. Before she died Hazel toured the United States talking about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: An Extraordinary Marriage and was just about to leave for a similar tour in Australia to attend the Perth Writers' Festival.