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A meat truck carrying illegal immigrants is intercepted at the Canadian-American border, but an unconscious woman is inadvertently left inside the truck. Two strangers waiting in separate cars impulsively smuggle her across the border – and their lives are changed irrevocably.

In this complex and compelling novel, Felicity and Gus cross and re-cross borders – between countries, between past and present, and between reality and illusion – as they struggle to come to terms with borderlines of their own.

"Hospital is a stunningly stylish writer who turns almost every chapter into a virtuoso performance. This is a very clever, very fascinating book which should not be missed."
— Brenda Little, The Australian

"Complex and disturbing, a compelling attempt to go beyond the safe borderlines within which much current fiction resides."
— Cheri Fein, New York Times Book Review

"A novel of maturity, exuding literary confidence comparable to Borges, Calvino, Barth... Borderline is among the best novels in English of a new age, a novel of exceptional quality, offering the reader exceptional worth."
— John Moss, A Reader's Guide to the Canadian Novel

"My personal books of the decade include Janette Turner Hospital's Borderline, the style and shape, the supple satisfyingly prose,the scintillating play of words and ideas of which could keep me warm on a winter's night... One of the most perfectly satisfying novels I have ever read."
— Katharine England, Adelaide Advertiser

"Exhilarating in its complexity and confidence... in an age which insists that every problem has a solution, Hospital has the courage to remind us that there are questions to which there are no answers."

— Ken Adachi, Toronto Star

"Hospital writes a rich and allusive prose that is a delight to read."
Montreal Gazette

"This book is brilliant in its several meanings: sparkling, intelligent, distinguished ... Hospital is in complete and wondrous control of her material. Borderline is a book to be urged on one's friends."
— Shirley Streshinsky, San Francisco Chronicle


Australia Hodder & Stoughton 1985
University of Queensland Press paperback 1987, reprinted 1990, 2003
Canada McClelland & Stewart 1985
Seal paperback 1986

Hodder & Stoughton 1985
Virago Modern Classics paperback 1990

USA Dutton 1990
Bantam paperback 1986