“Some people wonder what my books have in common. An Australian woman, an African-American man, the most notorious French couple in the twentieth century, and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt? For those who have read all four, the thread is clear. They were courageous people, who all, in some way, felt ‘outsiders’ in society. Above all, they were passionate people who cared about the world and felt angry about its injustices. It is no coincidence that they were born around the turn of the century, within a few years of each other. They came of age at a time of revolutionary change and hope. They were all progressives. And then the Cold War descended on them, like a thick fog. I see parallels with my own lifetime. I came of age in the late 60s and 70s, a time of revolutionary change and hope. And then came the fog.

“My books are all, in their different ways, voyages of discovery. I write books to learn, to stretch my horizons. These voyages of mine are full of risk and passion. But each time they leave me inspired and enriched. And I hope to do the same for my readers.”


Life as Art: The Biographical Writing of Hazel Rowley

“Rowley’s books are like highly finished canvasses, and the great joy of Life as Art is the view it gives us of the underpainting … Her respect for her subjects and her conviction that their lives supplied wider historical and personal insights carried her through the daunting period of research and writing … How wonderful it would have been to read Hazel Rowley’s books well into her old age, to follow all her changes. Life as Art reminds us of the measure of our loss.”
— Brenda Walker, Australian Book Review

roosevelt01_sm Franklin and Eleanor
: An Extraordinary Marriage

“Franklin and Eleanor is a fascinating read, rich with insight and detail. Here is a political marriage that rose above politics; a partnership that was driven as much by idealism as by ambition; and a friendship that survived despite all. Hazel Rowley is a wonderful writer with a gift — rare among historians — for entertaining her readers.”
— Amanda Foreman, Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

 The Tumultuous Lives & Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre

“Sympathetic but clear-eyed, … scrupulously nonjudgmental. Rowley … manages to recapture the charm and the brilliance of the relationship.”
— William Grimes, The New York Times

wright_sm-2Richard Wright
: The Life and Times

“Rowley’s biography is wonderfully readable and fair to the subject. … This is a first-rate biography worthy of its towering, larger-than-life subject.”
— Gerald Early, Christian Science Monitor

stead_smChristina Stead:
 A Biography

“Hazel Rowley, in this splendidly detailed account, supplies the narrative that makes sense of the novels’ angry, many-voiced, impatient, digressive brilliance. Hazel Rowley, who is as patient and tactful as Stead was impatient and savage, has portrayed her ‘monster’ with exemplary clarity (and charity).”
— Lorna Sage, The Times Literary Supplement