Combined Reviews: Forecast: Turbulence by Janette Turner Hospital

forecast_turbulence.jpg    Forecast: Turbulence
Janette Turner Hospital

[This collection of short stories has been shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award.]

From the publisher's page:
Violent weather pervades this breathtaking collection, reflecting the cataclysmic emotions swirling through the lives of the protagonists. A loner becomes obsessed with the beautiful face of a neighbour, a child and his enigmatic grandmother sit out a hurricane, two fragile girls visit their stepfathers in prison and share a macabre ritual, a young woman is deeply ashamed of what her father has become ...

Janette Turner Hospital sensitively weaves stories of heartbreaking poignancy, shocking power and steadfast resolve, all honouring a universal question: how can we maintain equilibrium in a turbulent and uncertain world?

The turbulent river rushes on. ′Everything flows,′ wrote Heraclitus, ′and nothing stays fixed.′


Peter Craven in "The Sydney Morning Herald":"Janette Turner Hospital is one of the most formidable writers to hail from Australia and she is also one of nature's storytellers. Her work has a narrative momentum and an effortless dramatic vibrancy that make her a deeply traditional entertainer at the same time that she is unmistakably a writer of gravity and power...Both her prophetic novel, Due Preparations for the Plague, and Orpheus Lost, another dark-angled take on terrorism, with its own redemptive twists, were serious works of art...Now, in a slender book of short stories, which includes a memoir of Brisbane and the passing of the author's mother, she gives her own take on the Shakespearean phrase, infinite riches in a little room...These stories exhibit a masterly control of tempo and an ability to compel the reader to see the life they unfold. Each packs the punch and yields the poignancy that only a master of the art of fiction can deliver."

Tali Lavi in "The Melbourne Review": "Janette Turner Hospital is chameleonic. Within her storytelling, styles, voices and places metamorphose. When faced with a new literary offering, one approaches it with a sense of trepidation; her narratives are as likely to fell the reader with devastating blows as they are to enrapture...Forecast: Turbulence is populated by storms, both of the atmosphere and of human behaviour. Nature's furore is to be feared, but it has nothing on the cruelty of people. Not that Turner Hospital is misanthropic - a spirit of humanism permeates her writing - but there is an unwillingness to turn away from a reality that oftentimes contains evil. As is testified by a character who quotes Hamlet to his daughter, 'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy.' This might be the author's own tenet, for she has admitted to inspiration from the pages of the New York Times."

Lisa Hill on the "ANZLitLovers" litblog: "Hmm, maybe it's because the Queen's Birthday holiday and the recent jubilee non-event in Australia has focussed my attention on cultural nuances, but it didn't take long for this book to irritate me. I'd read Janette Turner Hospital's Orpheus Lost (2008) and Due Preparations for the Plague: A Novel (2004) and enjoyed them both so I was expecting to like this too. But no, I didn't, and I'm peeved that I put aside other books to read it...Most of the themes are universal, tied together by the motifs of extremes of weather and climate. Her characters are relevant in the modern world: damaged souls struggling for psychological balance in fractured families or isolated from ordinary life in some way. The stories are neatly constructed and there is some beautiful writing."

Paula Green in the "New Zealand Herald": "Her latest collection of short stories, Forecast: Turbulence, reflects the experience and attachment she feels to both Australia and the United States...The turbulence of the title keys us into the parts weather and water play, but that turbulence also works on a metaphorical level. These are stories where life gets flung against the unexpected spikes and storms of living. These are stories, that at times, set your own guts in turmoil and you wonder if you can keep reading."


Kate Evans on ABC's RadioNational "Books and Arts Daily" program.

Stephen Romei in "The Australian".

Jo Case of The Wheeler Centre.


You can read sample pages from this collection on the publisher's page.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 15, 2012 11:41 AM.

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