Issue Details: First known date: 2009 2009
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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)

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  • Appears in:
    y From Solidarity to Schisms : 9/11 and After in Fiction and Film from Outside the US Cara Cilano (editor), New York (City) Amsterdam : Rodopi , 2009 Z1627430 2009 anthology criticism 'From Solidarity to Schisms is the first collection to expand discussions of the effects the events of 11 September 2001 and their aftermath have had on fiction and film beyond an exclusively US-based focus. The essays brought together here go beyond critiquing the US to examine the cultural shifts taking place in fiction and cinema from places such as Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Pakistan, Canada, Israel, and Iran. From these many sites of production, the works discussed in this collection illustrate more precisely how 9/11 was "global" without succumbing to neat categorizations, such as "us vs. them," "East vs. West," "Christianity vs. Islam," and so on. From Solidarity to Schisms is an important supplement to the US-centered cultural and critical production addressing 9/11, providing researchers and teachers alike with resources and contexts that will allow them to broaden their own examinations of novels and films by Americans and about the US. It also provides a valuable resource for students and scholars of contemporary global history and international politics who are interested in approaching 9/11, terrorism and counter-terrorism, and related topics from a cultural standpoint.' (Publisher website) New York (City) Amsterdam : Rodopi , 2009 pg. 295-315
Last amended 10 Mar 2010