Dustfall: A Novel

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UWA Publishing, Feb 1, 2018 - Fiction - 200 pages

'Haunting and lyrical, humming with compassion and insight, Dustfall heralds the arrival of a brilliant new literary voice. Michelle Johnston is a rare talent, and this is a rare jewel of a novel.' - Kathryn Heyman

Dr Raymond Filigree, running away from a disastrous medical career, mistakes an unknown name on a map for the perfect refuge. He travels to the isolated town of Wittenoom and takes charge of its small hospital, a place where no previous doctor has managed to stay longer than an eye blink. Instead of settling into a quiet, solitary life, he discovers an asbestos mining corporation with no regard for the safety of its workers and no care for the truth.

Thirty years later, Dr Lou Fitzgerald stumbles across the abandoned Wittenoom Hospital. She, too, is a fugitive from a medical career toppled by a single error. Here she discovers faded letters and barely used medical equipment, and, slowly the story of the hospital’s tragic past comes to her.

Dustfall is the tale of the crashing consequences of medical error, the suffering caused by asbestos mining and the power of storytelling.


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About the author (2018)

Dr Michelle Johnston is a consultant Emergency Physician who works at an inner city hospital. Mostly her days consist of trauma and mess. She studied medicine at UWA, and gained her Fellowship with the Australian College for Emergency Medicine in 1998. She believes there is a beating heart of humanity, art, and beauty within the sometimes brutal reality of the Emergency Department, and she has dedicated her career to finding that sweet spot between creativity and critical care medicine. Books are her other oxygen, and writing her sustenance. Dustfall is her debut novel.

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