The story of the Sydney Opera House is usually told as the heroic tragedy of its Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, who won the design competition for his breathtaking cluster of white sails but resigned before its completion over conflict about practicalities, costs, and government interference. In her exquisite novel Shell, Kristina Olsson comes at the drama obliquely, from the perspective of Sydney’s working people.
Susan Wyndham is the former literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. In her career as a journalist she has been editor of Good Weekend magazine, New York correspondent for The Australian and a deputy editor of the Herald. She is the author of Life In His Hands: The true story of a neurosurgeon and a pianist, and has edited and contributed to several other books.