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Title: 'The sound of her voice ... the touch of her hand' : working-class representation and the General Strike : critical thesis ; &, Nine Days in May : a novel
Author: Sha'Ath, Sara
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 9459
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2017
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The critical thesis comprises two chapters. Chapter one identifies a recurring preoccupation with voicelessness and (mis)representation in working-class fiction of the General Strike. Examining in detail James Hanley's The Furys and Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Cloud Howe, I argue that attending to the way this anxiety of representation manifests itself in these texts can help us better appreciate and understand an aspect of the working-class experience of the General Strike that, though not entirely overlooked, has not received the critical attention it deserves. Chapter two approaches issues of working-class representation in historical fiction from my own position as a critic-practitioner. Through textual analysis of Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy, I examine the techniques and strategies available to the historical novelist when it comes to 'giving voice' to characters that have traditionally been side-lined or excluded from the historical record. The creative component of this thesis is a historical novel set during the 1926 General Strike and written from the perspective of a recently widowed young woman, Alma Cox. During the strike, Alma goes to stay with her estranged father, a trade union leader, and volunteers in the local soup kitchen. As she struggles to establish a new life in a community she deliberately left behind, Alma finds she can no longer remain politically ambivalent. The novel interweaves aspects of a troubled father-daughter relationship with the complex identity politics surrounding the strike. It explores themes of otherness and solidarity, as well as the historical problem of women's work, agency and public voice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available