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Sister in fiction

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Unpublished
  • Naomi Richards
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Publication date2019
Number of pages311
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The study of sisters, particularly bonded sisters is an emerging but as yet underdeveloped area. This thesis explores the premise that a bonded sister relationship based on unworldliness and separation from others could be a location for technical and stylistic hybridity. Representing bonded sisters in fiction led through careful redrafting to the creation of an experimental novel of speculative fiction entitled The Quaint Sisters. This novel is written in the form of a series of vignettes which taken together form a definite narrative but also allows for stylistic innovation. The style of the narrative could be likened to a mosaic, in which stories, images and impressions are arranged in a pattern to
form a coherent whole. My novel offers new ways of understanding and representing bonded sisters in fiction and also provides a timely insight into their unique relationship.

The research for this project involved the close reading of a number of key texts in a cross-disciplinary approach which combines psychology, history, fairy tales, mythology and literary fiction and aspects of the prose poem. The many influences in my novel are compressed using an imagistic style which best suits the form of the short novel as it has a wider range than the novella. I am not aware of any other novel that combines Māori and Greek mythology with fairy tales in a single work of fiction, therefore this is one of the ways in which my novel provides an original contribution to knowledge.

My aim in this thesis is to investigate the complexity of the relationship between
bonded sisters, explore what might happen when such a relationship begins to unravel and express this within the field of Creative Writing. My research may be of interest to scholars within Women’s Studies and Psychology and also to fiction writers and visual artists who wish to combine image and text.