School of English

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Amanda Kale

Research Student,

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Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic

Child Narration in Memoir

Research Summary

My dissertation will consist of sustained research on narrative interest and voice in memoir that will coincide with its practical application within my own memoir.

The creative work will consist of a majority (if not the whole) of said novel, under the working title "Landslide": a memoir of my matriculated upbringing and unstable familial structure across the United States, from roughly five to eighteen years old. Unlike the majority of memoirs written today, my novel will be solely narrated through the perspective of myself as a child in the present tense over that of a retrospective adult.

Therefore, my critical examination intends to highlight this unique author choice, and delve into a deeper discussion of craft analysis. I plan to explore the role of stylistics and narratology in memoir - more specifically, the role of a child narrator. I currently hypothesize that its reasoning stems from a belief that child narration adds a more intimate level of authenticity that allows its readership to more readily trust the narrator. In doing so, it becomes the most effective choice for a memoirist, as it aligns with the argued aim of a memoir: to establish and entertain authenticity through one's emotional (rather factual) truth. My essay will touch on such arguments that narrow in on the nature of narrative retrospection and ulterior motives, distinguishing the two narrators through a discussion of factual vs. emotional truth, authenticity in narrative portrayal and memory, and a sustained analysis of unreliable narration.

Research Interests

  • Narratology
  • Stylistics
  • Memory and Memoir
  • Unreliable Narration
  • Memoir as Fiction
  • Creative/Narrative Nonfiction

Research Supervisors

Thomas Legendre - Assistant Professor in Creative Writing, Faculty of Arts

Violeta Sotirova - Associate Professor in Stylistics, Faculty of Arts

Jon McGregor - Professor of Creative Writing (Writer in Residence), Faculty of Arts

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