Hanging out Eggshells

Powell, Kirsty Joan
Zander, Bianca
Kidd, Kerry
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Master of Creative Writing
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Auckland University of Technology

Hanging Our Eggshells is a New Zealand historical literary fiction novel, detailing the lives of three generations of New Zealand rural women, each woman carries the scars of a war that they never fought directly. A gripping fictional tale with an undertow of historical fact that can be absorbed into the pores of the reader by osmosis, helping to understand the grim lives of isolated rural women in 20th century New Zealand. Protagonists include Kate from 1992, who sets out in search for her real parents, alternating with the voice of her grandmother, Meredith, from 1932 who travels from Wanganui to live in the remote farming community of the Mangapurua Valley beyond The Bridge To Nowhere. Logistically sandwiched between is Meredith’s 16 year old daughter Jane (Kate’s mother), solely represented as a poetic voice, written in 1958, from the viewpoint of a committed patient at Kingseat Psychiatric Hospital. This is a story of resilient women coping in isolated rural areas of New Zealand with their war damaged men; a story of repeating patterns; a story of loyalty without reward; and a story of how reality and make-believe become welded together to make our pitiless myths more palatable for the generations who follow. A story of ‘hanging out eggshells’. The Exegesis that accompanies the text explores a number of the issues that exercised my mind in the writing of this book: to understand the literary concept of the hero’s journey as it differs from a heroine’s journey; how best to overlay fiction on a strong and well documented historical story; how to successfully use a poetic voice in a work of prose; how to utilise a metafictional structure in the hands of an unreliable narrator; how to structure a work with multiple protagonists; and how to leave the reader with hope despite a bittersweet ending. Also, how to best achieve all this in the 8 months allocated to the task by applying ergonomic principles to the writing process. Let the work begin! [Note: The novel, "Hanging out eggshells", is embargoed until 31/12/2018]

Novel , New Zealand , Historical , Contemporary
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