I recently had the pleasure of reading Hazel Rowley’s wonderful biography of the Roosevelts, Franklin and Eleanor, in preparation for our panel in Perth this weekend. Last week I was notified that Rowley was ill, and that she wouldn’t be able to attend the festival. I hoped that it wasn’t serious and that she would pull through.

Sadly, Hazel Rowley has passed away, at the young age of 59, in New York. Stephen Romei has done a write-up in the Australian, where he informs us that Rowley ‘had been on life support after suffering a series of strokes and heart attacks late last week. Her brother and sister, who flew to New York to be at her bedside, were with her at the end.’

Rowley’s other books were also biographies, all acclaimed, of Christina Stead, Richard Wright, and Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. You can find out more about them on her website.

My thoughts are with her family and friends, and I’m sure we will all be feeling her absence this weekend at the festival.

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