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Burning Thread

Horsley, Rachel (2020) Burning Thread. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:82660)

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Language: English

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There is a Persian expression "khoon mikesheh" that loosely translates to "blood pulls", a saying that describes the mystical connection of family. There are many ways in which this expression is used, most interestingly to describe family members meeting for the first time who are immediately close or share an inexplicable bond of familiarity, comfort and love. The overarching narrative of the novel is based on this idea; two related women albeit strangers, Layla and Lara, who share a connection despite their generational gap and geographical distance.

The novel starts with a young Layla in Persia weaving a carpet for her lover, a narrative device that allows the novel to travel to modern day London (and Lara) and then full circle to an aged Layla in Iran. Lara searches for something that she cannot quite explain and in doing so the novel explores a number of themes. Thematically it examines the age-old question of whether anyone is ever knowable, the construction of self and memory, and the concept of choice (which is constrained by race, culture, gender and sexuality, among other things). The overarching theme is the complexity of 'love' in all its guises and the lies we tell ourselves to justify our behaviour, abuse, addiction, control, infidelity.

The novel is written with three discrete sections and each one reflects different narratives. The novel has an introductory scene that acts as a prologue to introduce Layla, who is then seeded throughout the narrative. The first section Reunion, examines the relationship of Lara and Sebastian, the first policeman to arrive on the scene when Lara's mother died. While Lara is more present throughout the novel, almost equal weight is given to the POV of both characters, with a view to looking at the construction of their flawed, and at times disturbing, relationship. The second section, Conversation, focuses on the relationship of Clarissa (Lara's mother), Sam (Lara's father) and Lyla. It is crafted to show the relationship of the characters partly through the conversation of Lara and Lyla, Clarissa's notebook and their individual memories. The final section, Beginnings, returns to an aged Lara. It demonstrates how the betrayal by her lover shaped, not only Layla's life but also the path to Lara's existence.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Sackville, Amy
Uncontrolled keywords: creative writing
Subjects: P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2020 11:10 UTC
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 09:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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