Janette Turner Hospital Interview

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janette_turner_hospital.jpg    Janette Turner Hospital is probably best known as the author of the novels Orpheus Lost and Oyster. She has also written a number of short stories which have appeared in 6 separate collections. The latest of these, Forecast: Turbulence, has just been released. The author was recently interviewed for The Australian by Stephen Romei:
Like Shirley Hazzard, but more prolific. Not like Peter Carey, though: no matter how celebrated he becomes overseas he will almost be more famous, some might say notorious, in the country he left 20 years ago. Like Carey, Hospital tries to teach would-be writers the art and craft of fiction: would-be American writers mainly, he at the City University of New York, she at the University of South Carolina.

When I mention to a well-read friend that I'm interviewing Hospital and that her new book, Forecast: Turbulence, includes a beautiful memoir set in Brisbane, she says, "Oh, she's Australian?" Yes, she is, as Australian as Hugh Jackman, who features as an object of desire in two of the short stories in Hospital's new book. As Australian as Patrick White, in whose name a literary award is given each year to an important writer the judges consider to be under-recognised. Hospital picked it up in 2003.

If Hospital presents as something of an enigma, she is partly to blame, or credit, for that. Late in our interview, when I mention the topical debate about the under-representation of women in literary culture, especially on the prize circuit, it's news to her.

"It's been a long time since I worried at all about what happens to the book," she says. "I'd rather not do interviews, I would rather not be profiled, I'd rather live my private life and enjoy the pleasures of writing."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 3, 2011 9:51 PM.

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