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This dissertation explores the themes of adoption, absence and family relationships in a piece of prose fiction, which is semi-autobiographical and based on my own life experience. It is accompanied by a critical reflection. Structured in epistolary form, I explore what it is like growing up as an adopted child through my teenage protagonist, and always having that desire to know more about her birth family. I also probe into the complex relationship she has with her adoptive parents and how that hinders her from being able to communicate and talk with them. Written in first person, it allows the reader direct access into my protagonists thoughts and feelings. Interspersed within the narrative, I also include a phone conversation, song lyrics and a dream sequence. The song lyrics represent what the protagonist is feeling and cannot articulate herself. The dream sequence gives the reader a visual insight to what she fears could happen when she meets some of her biological family. The creative writing is similar to authors such as, Jeanette Winterson and Jackie Kay, who have both explored their personal adoption experiences in different ways in their books: Winterson’s Oranges are Not the Only Fruit (2001) and Kay’s The Adoption Papers (1991). My creative piece is thematically similar to other epistolary books I researched, such as, The Colour Purple (2004) by Alice Walker and We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011) by Lionel Shriver. The critical reflection refers to the variety of techniques I have used in my creative piece with reference to authors who have inspired me in various ways. As it is semiautobiographical, I discuss what it was like writing from memory and the parts that were accurate, the parts that I changed and the parts I did not include and why. I also reflect on the writing process of the whole piece.
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