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 Short Story Collection Review   



North of Nowhere, South of Loss: Stories
By Janette Turner Hospital
W. W. Norton and Company, 2004
Hardcover $24.95 (286 pages)
ISBN: 0-393-05991-X

Janette Turner Hospital, like the characters in her short stories, has spent time on many countries, both as an insider and outsider. Born in Melbourne, she taught at various universities in Australia, Canada, Europe, England, and the United States before being invited succeed James Dickey at the University of South Carolina where she holds a permanent position as a Professor and Distinguished Writer in Residence. 

North of Nowhere, South of Loss explores varieties of loss. A couple, once lovers, who find one another in middle age through photographs; a young woman whose visit from her addict brother tears at her peripatetic lifestyle; and the mother and teenaged daughter who move into a new house whose previous owner who wants to reclaim his home are representative of the characters whose lives are dislocated, estranged, and connected. 

Using the Australian rainforest and the American South as the settings for these stories, Janette Turner Hospital's characters understand the nature of ennui and foreboding. Their interior thoughts are rich in dialogue. Their lives are both familiar and peculiar. 

The author of seven novels, including Oyster and Due Preparations for the Plague, Hospital is also a master of the short story form.


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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