What locals are reading...
Photography: Kevin Johnson
(page 3 of 3)
Jan Rosenquist, an emergency room physician at St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, spends her days tending to broken bones and burst appendices. But at night, when she isn’t mending bodies and saving lives, she moonlights as a writer, concocting tales of international espionage based loosely on her own experiences.
Rosenquist’s first novel, The Isabella Triangle, published four years ago (before 9-11, she points out) under the penname Janet Lord, is a medical adventure that blends bio-terrorism and scuba diving off the coast of Honduras. She came up with the idea while diving in the Caribbean, and then attended a medical conference about weapons of mass destruction to gather information.
A graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine, Rosenquist practiced inner city medicine in her hometown of Seattle until 1988. When her husband passed away, she packed up and moved to Sun Valley. “We’d planned to retire here,” she explains. “We owned a condo. We were big skiers.” A few years later, she was hired to start the first fully staffed, 24-hour emergency room at Moritz Hospital—the predecessor to Wood River Medical Center and St. Luke’s.
“When I was young, I was a big Nancy Drew fan. I loved those books to death! My parents would tell me to go to sleep, and I’d read under the sheets with a flashlight. In fifth or sixth grade, my aunt gave me a copy of Richard Halliburton’s Complete Book of Marvels, which got me interested in books about foreign countries and made me want to travel. These days, I read just before bed or when I’m on vacation. It’s a departure for me, a distraction. My job is fast-paced and tends to be stressful. Reading transports me to a different world, so I can put it all behind me.”
Like many passionate readers, Rosenquist can’t single out one book. But she does have some favorite writers. “I’ve always enjoyed John Grisham’s books—he’s a master at storytelling. Another author I like, probably the most intriguing writer I’ve ever read, is Scott Turrow. Presumed Innocent was a really good book … the ending slays you. I also loved Pat Conroy’s Beach Music. Conroy is an artist at dialogue. It reminds me so much of real life that I almost can’t bear to read it. Tom Wolfe is another favorite—he teaches you all about the South and New York. Grisham, Turrow, Conroy, and Wolfe are all wonderful observers of humanity. Those are the authors I want to emulate.”