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Title: Eva Shell (A novel)
Author: North, Kate
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
Eva Shell is a contemporary version of the epistolary mode, with the inclusion of text messages, email and various other media. As the narrative unfolds, the reader gradually comes to realise which texts are attributed to each character. It is a novel positioned in the twenty-first century against a city backdrop. The novel itself is set largely in Cardiff, but also in Ghana and Normandy between 1989 and 2003. The narrative follows the lives of two sisters. Eva and Sally, as they begin to travel, embark upon careers and experience their first formative relationships. For Eva this is her first lesbian relationship of importance while for Sally it is prospective parenthood with a man whom we come to realise has sinister connections as an influential member of the Front National. Finally, through the erosion of their relationships and the death of their only surviving parent. Matthew Shell, Eva and Sally become closer than ever. This is when they realise that they have only just begun to mature into adulthood. 'The Morning Book', a poetry journal that Mr Shell kept for most of his adult life, is finally left to Eva upon his death. The events referred to in it pre-date much of the main action of the text and centre on the destructive relationship, silence and loss that Mr Shell experiences in his marriage. The 'Morning Book' exposes Eva to the realisation that her parents' relationship had been volatile and fraught. This in turn answers the questions she had while growing up about her father's silence around the topic of her mother. The novel is followed by a critical commentary that is divided into five sections. I start with a section entitled 'Narrative and Theme' in which I explain my plot and the reasoning behind my choice of themes. This is followed by a section called 'Form' in which I explain the approach behind my decision to use a variety of media to convey the narrative of the novel. In this section I also explore how my understanding and knowledge of the common ground shared between poetry and prose informs my own writing. 'The Writing Process' is a section in which I tackle some of the technicalities of writing Eva Shell, such as the difficulty I had in producing a text that is not displayed chronologically. 'Influences' is an area of the commentary that focuses on my critical influences through which I seek to demonstrate the importance of critical enquiry in relation to my creative process. In this section I also offer an understanding of how my writing can be read with reference to particular artistic movements and critical trends. I end with some 'Final Thoughts' on the writing process in relation to my critical ideas and original ambitions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.584225  DOI: Not available
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