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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Death of Hazel Rowley

This is very sad news - I've heard today that acclaimed biographer Hazel Rowley has died. This story is now out of date but tells of how she had a massive stroke (or, if I've understood correctly, it may have been more than one) a few days ago. I'm told that Hazel's passing has been announced on Facebook, but I haven't seen any other public announcement so far except for someone updating her Wikipedia article.

I can't claim to have known Hazel well, and we hadn't been in any contact for many years. But I did know her somewhat when she was part of my social circle in Melbourne a couple of decades ago - enough to feel some real shock and grief at this, and particularly sorrow for her loved ones. They have my deepest sympathy. Hazel was still relatively young (59, I believe ... The Australian seems to be wrong saying she was 55), and, as far as I know, still in general good health at least until very recently.

It's not for me to say more on an occasion like this. Others who knew her better will have their say. But this is a horrible, and horribly premature, loss for all concerned and for the wider literary world.


Anonymous said...

Hazel, I can certify, was in good health before this sudden catastrophe. I met with her for a few hours in NY while visiting there recently. She was going through a rough patch in her personal life but was full of courage and humor. We joked about what, or whom, her next book would be about. What a terrible loss. Thanks in any case to Odile Hellier, of the Village Voice bookstore in Paris, for informing Hazel's friends of her illness.

Russell Blackford said...

Thanks for that information. Yes, a terrible loss.