Janette Turner Hospital Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Although Janette Turner Hospital’s short stories have been widely praised, she is probably best known for her novels. Hospital has also written a crime thriller, A Very Proper Death (1990), under the pseudonym Alex Juniper.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Janette Turner Hospital’s short story “Waiting” won a first short-story award, presented by Atlantic Monthly; her first novel, The Ivory Swing, won Canada’s Seal First Novel Award, presented by Seal Books. She has also received a gold medal from the Canadian National Magazine Awards; a Torgi Award, presented by the Canadian Association for the Blind; and an Australian National Book Council Award. Her collection of short stories Dislocations won the Fellowship of Australian Writers Award, and her novel Charades was a finalist for the Booker McConnell Prize. Many of her short stories have appeared in England’s Annual Best Short Stories, and her novel Oyster was a finalist for awards in both Australia and Canada. Griffith University awarded her an honorary doctorate in 1995 for her contributions to Australian literature.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Bergmann, Laurel. “Janette Turner Hospital’s Radical Re-Writing: Oedipal Charades.” Australian Literary Studies 17, no. 4 (1996): 364-373. Analyzes Hospital’s use of the Oedipus myth and its resonances for female desire in her novel Charades.

Callahan, David. “Acting in the Public Sphere and the Politics of Memory in Janette Turner Hospital.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 15 (Spring, 1996): 73-81. Discusses Hospital’s “feminist postmodernism,” how conflict between moral concerns and memory creates displacements in her work; argues that her fiction reflects a tension between reality as a construct and the demand for moral responsibility.

Callahan, David. “Janette Turner Hospital and the Discourse of Displacement.” In Nationalism vs. Internationalism: (Inter)national Dimensions of Literatures in English, edited by Wolfgang Zach and Ken L. Goodwin. Tübingen: Stauffenburg, 1966. Argues that whereas in her earlier stories, Hospital presents cultural conflict arising from differences in individuals, in later stories she explores the more complex issue of accommodating otherness within ourselves.

Cowley, Julian. “‘Violent Times’: Janette Turner Hospital’s Art of Memory and the History of the Present.” In Image and Power: Women in Fiction in the Twentieth...

(The entire section is 500 words.)