Authenticity and Readability on the Brink: Grief and Anxiety in a Tandem Narrative
White Sheets and Other Particulars is a novel of a woman recovering from the death of her son and a subsequent suicide attempt. It is written as a tandem narrative, with non-chronological flashbacks between a pre-traumatic past and a post-traumatic present. The exegesis was written in parallel and in dialogue with the novel and explores research themes that influenced the first developmental draft. The overarching theme of my work is the notion of “the brink” – the psychological boundary between sanity, normality and life, on one side, and illness, madness and death on the other. The core of the exegesis explores how to express this boundary, as an interior state of the main character, while maintaining both authenticity and readability, and also how structure – in particular, the movement between timelines – can illuminate her changing psychological condition.