Partridge Wings. "North of Nowhere, South of Loss" by Janet Turner-Hospital. [review]
Janet Turner-Hospital fans, possibly reminded of their affection for her by the recent publication of her latest novel, "Due Preparations for the Plague" will find this anthology an interesting exercise in retrospection. Collected here are fourteen stories published between 1991 and 2002 in various periodicals and anthologies from around the globe. Like most anthologies, "North of Nowhere, South of Loss" showcases the scope of its author’s output. The peripatetic nature of her life - raised in Queensland, she is now resident in South Carolina - is reflected in these stories’ settings, which include Canada, the US, Japan, France and Australia. Wide though Turner Hospital's range may be, what become most apparent in this collection are the continuities in her short fiction. Dislocation and disorientation are prominent themes here, as they are in much of her work. These stories are filled with people who shuttle from one country to the next, indeed feeling north of nowhere. Not only are they unsure of their physical location, they are often confused about time. Thoughtful and engaging, these stories provide a pleasurable opportunity to re-experience in bite-sized chunks Turner Hospital’s narrative skills.