Born in 1942, Janette Turner Hospital grew up
on the steamy sub-tropical coast of Australia in the north-eastern
state of Queensland. She 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. She has been a Visiting Professor and Distinguished Writer in Residence at M.I.T., Boston University, Colgate University, and Columbia University in New York.
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 eight novels and four short story collections
and her work has been published in multiple foreign language collections. 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.
The Last Magician, her fifth novel, was
listed by Publishers' Weekly as one of the 12 best novels
published in 1992 in the USA and was a New York Times 'Notable
Book of the Year'. Oyster, her sixth novel, was a finalist
for Australia's Miles Franklin Prize Award and 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
Orpheus Lost, her most recent novel,
was one of five finalists for the $110,000 Australia-Asia Literary
prize in 2008.
Orpheus Lost was also on Booklist's Top 30 novels
of the year in 2008, along with novels by Booker Prize winner Anne Enright, National Book Award
winner Denis Johnson, Philip Roth, Don DeLillo, Michael Ondaatje, Ian MacEwan,
Ha Jin, and Michael Chabon.
The novel also made the list of Best 25 Books of the Year
of Library Journal, and Hospital was invited to be a keynote speaker at the
annual convention of the American Library Association in Los Angeles in June 2008.
The Italian edition, Orfeo Perduto, has been so well-received
in Italy that it will be a featured title at the literary festival on Lake Maggiore
in June 2010 where Hospital will be a featured author.
For over a decade, she held 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. Now, as Carolina Distinguished Professor Emerita, she continues to mentor students and teach one course each year.
INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN ROMEI - THE AUSTRALIAN - OCTOBER 2011
INTERVIEW WITH CHERYL JORGENSEN - HECATE LITERARY JOURNAL - JANUARY 2010
LIST OF AWARDS
MONOGRAPH: SEE UNDER LITERARY