Janette Turner Hospital has been promoting her new novel, Orpheus Lost, in both Australia and New Zealand.
Bron Sibree interviewed her for the "NZ Herald":
All her novels have coalesced around a central question. But in the case of Orpheus Lost, she says, "there were multiple questions. What would be the life trajectory at this point in history for someone with a Muslim parent who'd turned to terrorism? How would you negotiate that? And there's also the huge Amnesty question, how do you balance human rights with legitimate means of maintaining national security? To me there's a line you just don't cross. Although we feel as an individual we can do precious little on a world scale, I feel every human being is accountable for decisions made in our name by a government. To me that is a passionately personal question, not just a big social one."
And Lily Bragg profiled the author for "The Sydney Morning Herald":
Torture, kidnapping, despair and lies followed by truth and redemption are all played out. Vividly imagined, Turner Hospital writes with depth and scalpel-like precision.
"I was fascinated by the moral and emotional repercussions of what happens when innocent people get caught up in extremism, when national hysteria sets in and people are willing to trade civil liberties," she says.
"I was interested in pursuing the inner emotional lives of these people and the choices they make."
A fervent supporter and long-time member of Amnesty International, Turner Hospital says she is constantly aware of the abuse of human rights and unacceptable torture practices around the world. It's this awareness that prompts her to pursue such disturbing themes in Orpheus Lost.