y The Unknown Terrorist single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2006 2006
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Gina Davies, aka The Doll, is a 26-year-old pole dancer at the Chairman's Lounge in Sydney's Kings Cross. She's a flawed woman, racist, obsessed with money, who finds her life suddenly being destroyed by the things she has up until that moment most firmly believed in. The evening of the Mardi Gras, 2007. Three unexploded bombs have been found that day at Homebush Stadium, so the country is on high-alert. When wandering through the Mardi Gras' crowds the Doll runs into a good-looking, young dark man. They end up at his place. When she wakes, it's Sunday morning and he has gone. She is getting a coffee in a café opposite the apartment block she spent the night in when she sees armed police surround the building she has just left. Later in the day while shopping in the city she sees a story on a big video screen in which the news is of a suspected terrorist entering the same building she had spent the night in. That night, on television news, the story has altered a little. In an exclusive, the network has security camera footage of the terrorist entering the building the night before with an accomplice, a woman she recognises as herself. And so a case is brought against her by the media, and the hunt for her begins. From a 26-year-old pole dancer in the Chairman's Lounge, she quickly becomes the most wanted woman in Australia as every truth of her life is turned into a lie...' (Publisher's blurb)

Notes

  • Dedication: For David Hicks.
  • Brief mention under editors' choice column, The New York Times Book Review 29 July 2007, p.18.
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Picador , 2006 .
      Extent: 320p.
      ISBN: 0330422804 (pbk.), 9780330422802 (pbk.), 0330422774 (hbk.), 9780330422772 (hbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Grove Press , 2006 .
      Extent: 325p.
      ISBN: 9780802118516
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Atlantic Books , 2007 .
      Extent: 325p.
      ISBN: 9781843545989 (hbk.)
    • Toronto, Ontario,
      c
      Canada,
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Harper Perennial , 2008 .
      Extent: 1v.p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: July, 2008
      ISBN: 9781554682256, 1554682258
Alternative title: De onbekende terrorist
Language: Dutch

Works about this Work

"And Then I Smiled" : Recent Postcolonial Fiction and the War on Terror Silvia Albertazzi , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Le Simplegadi , April no. 15 2016; (p. 16-23)
The aim of this essay is to compare the reactions to the 2001 attack to the Twin Towers as they are related and reflected upon in Western and non-Western fiction. We start from the analysis of a novel by a Pakistani author, Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Then, we compare the genesis of a terrorist, as it is depicted by the American author John Updike in Terrorist, and the creation of a terrorist by the media, which is the main subject of The Unknown Terrorist by the Australian 2014 Man Booker Prize Winner Richard Flanagan.
The Post-Sovereign Novel : Biopolitical Immunities in Manfred Jurgensen’s The American Brother Michael Austin , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , 10 August vol. 31 no. 4 2016;
'The Australian government’s responses to the September 11 attacks introduced a new theme into Australian literature. Novels such as Andrew McGahan’s Underground and Richard Flanagan’s The Unknown Terrorist sought to address, in narrative form, threats to the rule of law that arose from a rapidly emerging Western security state. Drawing on the political and juridical framework of liberalism, these novels attacked an Australian political and social milieu that justified the expansion of sovereign power. This essay argues that the liberal framework informing these novels misrecognises the structure of power post-9/11: insofar as it posits an absolute dichotomy between law and sovereignty, the language of liberalism prevents us from thinking right and power concomitantly. This essay reads Manfred Jurgensen’s novel The American Brother through the political philosophy of Roberto Esposito. In doing so, it suggests that a biopolitical account of the post-9/11 security state, in the form of Esposito’s paradigm of immunisation, enables not only a coherent epistemology of contemporary sovereign power, but also opens up a critical approach to literature that thinks outside the limitations of liberal discourse.' (Publication abstract)
Communicating the Incommunicable Kirsten Krauth , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian Author , June vol. 47 no. 1 2015; (p. 14-17)
Richard Flanagan, a Bright Star Rising from Australian Literary World Li Yao , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Oceanic Literary Studies , no. 2 2015; (p. 215-219)
'Being unfamiliar to most Chinese readers, Richard Flanagan is one of the most accomplished and distinctive writers in Australia in recent twenty years. Representing growing diversification of multiculturalism in Australia, all his works, from Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping and Gould's Book of Fish : A Novel in Twelve Fish to The Unknown Terrorist, Wanting and The Narrow Road to the Deep North, are miraculous flowers bursting into bloom in the fertile soil of life, in which there is a conciliation of post-modernism and realism in creation, characterized by strong self-consciousness and magnificent realistic features. Some critics argue Flanagan reminds them of such masters as Whitman, Joyce, Faulkner and Garcia Marquez etc. As the laureat of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for English literature, Richard Flanagan is a bright star rising high from Tasmania, Australia.' (215-216)
Frontiers of Life and Death : The Human, New Wars and World Literary Sensibilities Debjani Ganguly , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: What is the Human? : Australian Voices from the Humanities 2012; (p. 103-122)
Leading by Trailing Caroline Baum , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: Australian Author , December vol. 44 no. 4 2012; (p. 16-19)
'Book trailers, aka promotional videos, have become part of the marketing arsenal for big-name authors, writes Caroline Baum. But you have to choose your genre carefully.'
Gendered Terrorism : Intertext, Context, and Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist Theodore F. Sheckels , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 24 no. 1 2010; (p. 35-39)
Distant Context, Local Colour : Australian ‘Post September 11’ Fiction Jen Webb , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , Special Issue 2010;
'Australian fiction is, arguably, as diverse as the fiction of any other culture or era. But in a globalised world, though the stories we tell may remain inflected by the local context, they will necessarily be informed by transnational relations and geopolitical events. Like writers in the USA, UK, Afghanistan and elsewhere, some Australian novelists have taken arms against a sea of troubles, and produced work that directly and consciously engages that new genre, the post September 11 novel. Only a small number of Australian novels have been published in this genre - perhaps inevitably, given our distance from the scene - and they can be read as relying on the familiar features of the thriller, the detective, or the citygrrl genres that readers find attractive. However, I will suggest that they do more than this. In a reading of Andrew McGahan's Underground, and Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist, I will discuss the ways in which a very local 'accent' is coloured by broader forces, and what contributions we can offer, here at the foot of the world, to the ongoing conflicts and human rights abuses in the hemisphere above us.' (Author's abstract)
Great Expectations Peter Craven , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: Australian Author , December vol. 42 no. 3 2010; (p. 6-9)
Coda : Australian Writer-Intellectuals in the Twenty-First Century : Legacy and Future Brigid Rooney , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Literary Activists : Australian Writer-Intellectuals and Public Life 2009; (p. 180-194)
Missing the Point : The Prose of Richard Flanagan David Free , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Quadrant , June vol. 53 no. 6 2009; (p. 96-98)
'A World of ...Risk, Passion, Intensity, and Tragedy : The Post 9/11 Australian Novel Richard Scott Carr , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 23 no. 1 2009; (p. 63-66)

'The terrorist has become a familiar figure and terrorism a common referent in recent Australian writing. I intend to explore a handful of Australian novels published, like [Janet Turner] Hospital's work , since 2001 : A.L. McCann's Subtopia (2005), Linda Jaivin's The Infernal Optimist (2006), Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist (2006), and Andrew McGahan's Underground (2006). All of these novels entered a world attuned to the destructive potential of the terrorist and wary of the terrorist desire to wreak and skill at wreaking havoc.'

Government, Media and Power : Terrorism in the Australian Novel Since 9/11 Nathanael O'Reilly , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: From Solidarity to Schisms : 9/11 and After in Fiction and Film from Outside the US 2009; (p. 295-315)
This chapter examines three Australian novels published since 2001 that address the effects of terrorism on both Australian and Western society: Janette Turner Hospital's Due Preparations for the Plague (2003), Andrew McGahan's Underground (2006), and Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist (2007). Despite the variety of settings that the novels utilize, they all demonstrate the pervasiveness of terrorism as a dominant political and cultural issue in Australian society since 9/11. Moreover, the novels reveal the relationship between governments and the media, and critique the way that both use terrorism to maintain and expand their power. Turner Hospital's Due Preparations for the Plague, set in the United States, France, and Iraq, examines terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, national security, intelligence failures, government coverups, and media manipulation. McGahan and Flanagan both set their novels in Australia after 9/11 and focus on the nation's responses to acts of domestic terrorism seemingly perpetrated by Islamist extremists. Both novels depict governments that have become increasingly totalitarian, ruling societies driven by fear and paranoia. In McGahan's and Flanagan's novels, the government's response to 9/11 and domestic terrorism is to attempt to exert total control over society; however, in the process, the government, rather than terrorism, becomes the primary threat to Western civilization. Due Preparations for the Plague, Underground, and The Unknown Terrorist all expose and interrogate the interdependent relationship between governments, the media, and terrorism, while critiquing the use of terrorism by governments and the media to exert, maintain, and increase power. (Author's abstract)
Realigning the Spiritual Compass : Representations of Terrorism in Some Recent Australian Fiction Xavier Pons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of the European Association for Studies on Australia , vol. 1 no. 2009; (p. 23-24)
'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.' Source: Xavier Pons.
Of Spies and Terrorists: Australian Fiction After 9/11 Bruce Bennett , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Asiatic , June vol. 2 no. 1 2008;
This article notes the powerful international impact of the attacks on the USA on 11 September 2001 and their literary aftermath. Beginning with The 9/11 Commission Report, the article considers literary responses to the events of 9/11 five or six years later by five Australian novelists. Their work ranges from fantastic satire to espionage thriller and psychological problem novel. A critical spirit informs each of these works - Andrew McGahan's Underground (2006), Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist (2006), Janette Turner Hospital's Orpheus Lost (2007), Adib Khan's Spiral Road (2007) and Adrian d'Hage's The Beijing Conspiracy (2007). Adib Khan's novel Spiral Road is especially interesting for its examination of the dilemmas and difficulties faced by a Muslim Australian when he returns to his homeland Bangladesh. Like the other novels considered in this article, Spiral Road explores the clashes between political events and the realities of everyday living for individuals buffeted by the cross-winds of an American tragedy.
Osutoraria to Amerika no kyori Wataru Sato , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Eigo Seinen/Rising Generation , May vol. 154 no. 2 2008; (p. 111-112)
Untitled Robert Lumsden , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Adelaide Review , 1 - 14 February no. 334 2008; (p. 20)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Poles Apart Tony Smith , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: AQ : Australian Quarterly , January-February vol. 80 no. 1 2008; (p. 37-38)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
When Big Brother is Just a State of Mind Carl Ungerer , David Martin Jones , 2007 single work essay
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , February vol. 2 no. 1 2007; (p. 6-7)

Ungerer and Martin Jones create a fictitious student roaming the bookstores of Australia's universities. Their student gains impressions of the portrayal of government policy relating to terrorism via readings of fiction and non-fiction works.

The authors decide that the student might conclude 'that either the literary and academic world inhabited a paranoid delusion or that the fascist Australian state was incompetent. For despite the apparently totalitarian controls of the anti-terror laws, government, police, bureaucracy and media all seem to tolerate, and even encourage with generous funding grants, the academic and literary exposure of their authoritarian ambitions.'

Big Book Club Joins Readers and Authors 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 24 - 25 February 2007; (p. 23)
The column discusses the launch of The Courier-Mail Big Book Club at www. thebigbookclub.com.au
Apocalypse Now as Darkness Descends Diane Stubbings , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 28 October 2006; (p. 11)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
The Terrorist Stripped Bare David Marr , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28-29 October 2006; (p. 32-33)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Untitled Tony O'Loughlin , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , October vol. 86 no. 4 2006; (p. 29)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
A Dance to the Music of the Times James Ley , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 4 November 2006; (p. 27)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Plea from the Heart Katharine England , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 4 November 2006; (p. 12)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Pole-Dancing Peter Craven , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 286 2006; (p. 6-8)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
The Banality of Terror Don Anderson , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 7 November vol. 124 no. 6545 2006; (p. 76-77)

— Review of Underground Andrew McGahan 2006 single work novel ; The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
A Lazy Summer Thriller Rosemary Sorensen , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , December vol. 1 no. 4 2006; (p. 5)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Tough Talk to Find the Truth Christopher Bantick , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 9 - 10 December 2006; (p. 25)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Terror Australis Stephen Bell , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 6 January 2007; (p. 8)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Untitled Bill Tully , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Voice : A Journal of Comment and Review , March no. 21 2007; (p. 41-44)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Days of Thunder Erupt Down Under Peter Conrad , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Observer , 8 April 2007; (p. 24)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
The Lost Honour of TV Journalists John Tague , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Independent on Sunday , 6 May 2007;

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
A Convincing Thriller-Tragedy Philip Kopper , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Washington Times , 6 May 2007; (p. 7)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
A Misunderstanding, and a Simple Life Descends into a Nightmare Michiko Kakutani , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times , 8 May 2007; (p. 1)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Notorious; A Stripper Is the Prime Suspect in an Australian Terrorist Investigation David Masiel , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Washington Post , 10 June 2007; (p. 7)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Girl, Gun, Nightclub M. John Harrison , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 27 April no. 5430 2007; (p. 23)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Untitled Michael Ashby , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 17 October vol. 16 no. 15 2006; (p. 23-24)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Histories of the Present Rachael Weaver , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Winter no. 187 2007; (p. 81-85)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel ; Dreams of Speaking Gail Jones 2006 single work novel ; Underground Andrew McGahan 2006 single work novel ; The Unexpected Elements of Love Kate Legge 2006 single work novel
Unusual Suspect Uzodinma Iweala , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times Book Review , 22 July vol. 112 no. 29 2007; (p. 18)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Uneasy Writer Catherine Keenan , 2006 single work biography
— Appears in: Good Weekend , 21 October 2006; (p. 73, 75-76)
Undercover Susan Wyndham , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 21-22 October 2006; (p. 30)
A column canvassing current literary news including reactions to Richard Flanagan's latest novel The Unknown Terrorist.
In Flanagan's Wake Tony O'Loughlin (interviewer), 2006 single work interview
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , October vol. 86 no. 4 2006; (p. 44)
Worst-Case Enthusiasts Imre Salusinszky , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 25-26 November 2006; (p. 40)
Imre Salusinszky reflects on recent films and books that feature 'apocalyptic imaginings'. 'That apocalypse and looming disaster should form an important theme of the arts at a time like this is no surprise. But when we look at the contemporary arts and ask what is identified as the source of the disater, one extremely plausible villain, Islamofascism, is nowhere to be found.' Salusinszky illustrates his thoughts with reference, among other works, to Andrew McGahan's Underground and Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist.
When Big Brother is Just a State of Mind Carl Ungerer , David Martin Jones , 2007 single work essay
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , February vol. 2 no. 1 2007; (p. 6-7)

Ungerer and Martin Jones create a fictitious student roaming the bookstores of Australia's universities. Their student gains impressions of the portrayal of government policy relating to terrorism via readings of fiction and non-fiction works.

The authors decide that the student might conclude 'that either the literary and academic world inhabited a paranoid delusion or that the fascist Australian state was incompetent. For despite the apparently totalitarian controls of the anti-terror laws, government, police, bureaucracy and media all seem to tolerate, and even encourage with generous funding grants, the academic and literary exposure of their authoritarian ambitions.'

Big Book Club Joins Readers and Authors 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 24 - 25 February 2007; (p. 23)
The column discusses the launch of The Courier-Mail Big Book Club at www. thebigbookclub.com.au
The Making of a Terrorist Samela Harris , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 3 March 2007; (p. 13)
Rule of fear Nick Bray , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 17 - 18 March 2007; (p. 23)
Sydney by the Book Malcolm Knox , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: The (Sydney) Magazine , May no. 49 2007; (p. 66-72)
Knox comments on the ways in which Sydney's suburbs have inspired a range of contemporary authors.
Undercover Susan Wyndham , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 9-10 June 2007; (p. 34)
A column canvassing current literary news including brief reports on the US reception of Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist and authors who have followed publisher Nikki Christer from Picador to Random House.
Politics, Writing, Love Richard Flanagan , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Monthly , October no. 28 2007; (p. 58-61)
Richard Flanagan recalls the issues that gave rise to writing The Unknown Terrorist and reflects on his understanding of the novel's theme. '[W]hen I finished The Unknown Terrorist', he says, 'I realised the novel wasn't about the things I daily told others it was about at all. It wasn't about politics or the state of the nation or the static of current affairs. It was about something else entirely: about love, about its inadequacy, about our hopeless need for it.'
Professing the Popular : Political Fiction circa 2006 Andrew McCann , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October vol. 23 no. 2 2007; (p. 43-57)
Of Spies and Terrorists: Australian Fiction After 9/11 Bruce Bennett , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Asiatic , June vol. 2 no. 1 2008;
This article notes the powerful international impact of the attacks on the USA on 11 September 2001 and their literary aftermath. Beginning with The 9/11 Commission Report, the article considers literary responses to the events of 9/11 five or six years later by five Australian novelists. Their work ranges from fantastic satire to espionage thriller and psychological problem novel. A critical spirit informs each of these works - Andrew McGahan's Underground (2006), Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist (2006), Janette Turner Hospital's Orpheus Lost (2007), Adib Khan's Spiral Road (2007) and Adrian d'Hage's The Beijing Conspiracy (2007). Adib Khan's novel Spiral Road is especially interesting for its examination of the dilemmas and difficulties faced by a Muslim Australian when he returns to his homeland Bangladesh. Like the other novels considered in this article, Spiral Road explores the clashes between political events and the realities of everyday living for individuals buffeted by the cross-winds of an American tragedy.
Osutoraria to Amerika no kyori Wataru Sato , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Eigo Seinen/Rising Generation , May vol. 154 no. 2 2008; (p. 111-112)
Coda : Australian Writer-Intellectuals in the Twenty-First Century : Legacy and Future Brigid Rooney , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Literary Activists : Australian Writer-Intellectuals and Public Life 2009; (p. 180-194)
Missing the Point : The Prose of Richard Flanagan David Free , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Quadrant , June vol. 53 no. 6 2009; (p. 96-98)
A New Chapter in Self-Loathing Andrew Bolt , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Mail , 12 May 2006; (p. 65)
'A World of ...Risk, Passion, Intensity, and Tragedy : The Post 9/11 Australian Novel Richard Scott Carr , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 23 no. 1 2009; (p. 63-66)

'The terrorist has become a familiar figure and terrorism a common referent in recent Australian writing. I intend to explore a handful of Australian novels published, like [Janet Turner] Hospital's work , since 2001 : A.L. McCann's Subtopia (2005), Linda Jaivin's The Infernal Optimist (2006), Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist (2006), and Andrew McGahan's Underground (2006). All of these novels entered a world attuned to the destructive potential of the terrorist and wary of the terrorist desire to wreak and skill at wreaking havoc.'

Government, Media and Power : Terrorism in the Australian Novel Since 9/11 Nathanael O'Reilly , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: From Solidarity to Schisms : 9/11 and After in Fiction and Film from Outside the US 2009; (p. 295-315)
This chapter examines three Australian novels published since 2001 that address the effects of terrorism on both Australian and Western society: Janette Turner Hospital's Due Preparations for the Plague (2003), Andrew McGahan's Underground (2006), and Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist (2007). Despite the variety of settings that the novels utilize, they all demonstrate the pervasiveness of terrorism as a dominant political and cultural issue in Australian society since 9/11. Moreover, the novels reveal the relationship between governments and the media, and critique the way that both use terrorism to maintain and expand their power. Turner Hospital's Due Preparations for the Plague, set in the United States, France, and Iraq, examines terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, national security, intelligence failures, government coverups, and media manipulation. McGahan and Flanagan both set their novels in Australia after 9/11 and focus on the nation's responses to acts of domestic terrorism seemingly perpetrated by Islamist extremists. Both novels depict governments that have become increasingly totalitarian, ruling societies driven by fear and paranoia. In McGahan's and Flanagan's novels, the government's response to 9/11 and domestic terrorism is to attempt to exert total control over society; however, in the process, the government, rather than terrorism, becomes the primary threat to Western civilization. Due Preparations for the Plague, Underground, and The Unknown Terrorist all expose and interrogate the interdependent relationship between governments, the media, and terrorism, while critiquing the use of terrorism by governments and the media to exert, maintain, and increase power. (Author's abstract)
Gendered Terrorism : Intertext, Context, and Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist Theodore F. Sheckels , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 24 no. 1 2010; (p. 35-39)
Last amended 4 Oct 2011 10:37:18
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  • Kings Cross, Kings Cross area, Inner Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,
  • 2007
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