Dolores Herrero


The plot of Janette Turner Hospital's latest novel, Due Preparations for the Plague, deals with some of those events and issues that humanity is presently striving to understand: terrorism, unlawful or unethical political dealings, and religious fanaticism, to mention but a few. The novel unravels these polemical issues through the story of the fictional hijacking of an Air France plane by Muslim fundamentalists in 1987, and in particular through the story of Lowell and Samantha, a young man and woman who desperately try to ' [map their] way out of fog' (Hospital 2003 47) by searching for the truth about the fate of loved ones who died on that doomed flight from Paris to New York.^ Although Due Preparations for the Plague is, over and above everything, an examination of a terrorist incident and the traumatic marks it makes upon the survivors, it also tackles the subsequent political obfuscation and unacknowledged interference by a government engaged in a different kind of war, one that involves consorting with the enemy, and thus diluting and obliterating any previously existing ethical codes and values. In the end, everything is relative and there are no fixed truths to cling to. To quote the explanation given to some would-be agents by Salamander, the CIA operative in charge of the hijack incident code-named Operation Black Death:



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