Abstract: This article examines how terrorism is represented in three Australian novels, Janette Turner Hospital’s Due Preparations for the Plague (2003) and Orpheus Lost (2007), and Richard Flanagan’s The Unknown Terrorist (2006). It argues that, despite their ostensible topic, the novels tend to ignore or distort the reality of terrorism and its causes. Flanagan is more interested in the way some individuals and groups exploit the fear of terrorism to achieve their own ends, while Turner Hospital creates a paranoid world which does not allow any real understanding of what terrorism is about. The social preoccupations in the three novels, insightful as they are, remain largely disconnected from terrorism.

Keywords: terrorism, Muslims, paranoia

Copyright © Xavier Pons 2009 This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.