Lowell tries not to think about the past, about the hijacking that killed his mother. Samantha, on the other hand, cannot let go. As a child she survived the hijacking of Air France 64, and as an adult she obsessively digs for answers, seeking a man called Salamander whom she believes holds key information.
It is the death of Lowell's father, and his legacy of a blue sports bag crammed with documents and videotapes, that finally brings Lowell and Samantha together and unravels the interconnections between victims and perpetrators, saved and damned.
But in this murky world of endless aliases and surveillance, who can be trusted? When does the quest for truth become a dangerous obsession? And what difference can the truth make?
Janette Turner Hospital has crafted a taut and confronting novel that propels us into the chaos of terror and the cruelty - and unexpected hope - of survival.
About the Author
Janette Turner Hospital grew up in Queensland and began her teaching career in remote Queensland high schools, but since her graduate studies she has taught in universities in Australia, Canada, England, France, and the United States.
Her first published short story appeared in the Atlantic Monthly (USA) where it won an "Atlantic First" citation in 1978. Her first novel, The Ivory Swing (set in the village in South India where she lived in l977) won Canada’s $50,000 Seal Award in l982. She lived for many years in Canada, and in 1986 she was listed as by the Toronto Globe & Mail as one of Canada′s "Ten Best Young Fiction Writers." Since then she has won a number of prizes for her 7 novels and 3 short story collections, and her work has been published in 12 languages. Three of her short stories appeared in Britain’s annual Best Short Stories in English in their year of publication, and one of these, “Unperformed Experiments Have No Results,” was selected for The Best of the Best, an anthology of the decade in l995.
Oyster was a finalist for both the Miles Franklin and the Banjo Book Award. It was also a finalist for Canada’s Trillium Award, and in England it was listed in Best Books of the Year by the Observer, which noted “Oyster is a tour de force… Turner Hospital is one of the best female novelists writing in English.” In the USA, Oyster was a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year.”
Due Preparations for the Plague won the Queensland Premier′s Literary Award in 2003, the Davitt Award from Sisters in Crime for “best crime novel of the year by an Australian woman”, and was shortlisted for the Christina Stead Award. In 2003, Hospital received the Patrick White Award, as well as a Doctor of Letters honoris causa from the University of Queensland.
She holds an endowed chair as Carolina Distinguished Professor of English at the University of South Carolina and in 2003 received the Russell Research Award for Humanities and Social Sciences, conferred by the university for the most significant faculty contribution (research, publication, teaching and service) in a given year.