Finding the footprints in the frost
This submission is in two parts: Finding the Footprints in the Frost is an exegesis that looks to frame the ideas and contexts explored in the accompanying novel The Art of Broken Pieces. It investigates the field of writing about grief and recovery, in both non-fiction and fiction, and situates the novel within that field. It backgrounds insights gained through my research and how they have been mobilised in the creative work. In it I focus on the use of physical tasks - both individual and shared - and the symbolic role of the preparation and sharing of food as both communal and cultural practice.
The novel, The Art of Broken Pieces, follows the journey of Wendy, a woman in her fifties, as she searches for healing following the death of her husband. The narrative arc works through the components of a ‘Healing through Activity’ course Wendy undertakes, causing her to examine her own grief and, where she is able, connect with the other characters. In terms of tone, the novel uses the humour found in friendship as a foothold for a journey to recovery. At its heart is the message that there is a way - complex and challenging though it is - through grief.