Hailed as “everything a literary biography should be,” Christina Stead is a stirring and tragic account of the life of the incomparable writer Like the author herself, Christina Stead’s novels were challenging and engrossing. Raised by a narcissistic father, Stead left for London at the age of twenty-six and soon met William Blake, a writer, broker, and Marxist political economist who became her life partner. His personal ambitions and their politics resulted in a nomadic existence, with Stead sidestepping the traditional feminine role in exchange for a career. She struggled to find an audience for her work, however, only succeeding late in life with the reissue of The Man Who Loved Children. Hazel Rowley’s richly detailed and even-handed biography spans Stead’s life, expertly blending her encoded personal papers with interviews of her closest confidants. Masterfully written and researched, Christina Stead is a fascinating chronicle of one of the twentieth century’s greatest novelists.