Saturday, February 12, 2005

Advanced Fiction - "This is a novel about..."

We did an exercise where we started "This is a novel about..."

First one sentence to summarize:

This is a novel about a girl from Minnesota who travels to Kenya for the summer to visit her aunt and is confronted by drought, poverty and corruption.

Then one paragraph:

This is a novel about a girl from Minnesota who travels to Kenya for the summer to visit her eccentric aunt who works there as a Doctor. She comes face to face with drought, poverty, corruption and tragedy through the history of the space she is in as well as current events. She returns to Minnesota with bruised idealism.

Then one page:

This is a novel about a girl named Sara, who lives in suburban Minnesota and grows up spending summers at "the cabin" with her grandparents and cousins. She wants to see the world and is sent on a trip to Kenya after high school graduation to visit her 72-year-old Aunt Meg, In Nanyuki Kenya.

Meg has been working in Kenya as a doctor for 10 years. Sara can't understand why her aunt is so distant from the people she treats. Why can't Meg speak even a little Swahili? Why won't she learn the names of her patients? She insists on calling all the women "Mary" and all the men "George." And when she has so much apparent disdain for the cultures here, why has she stayed?

Sara finds the answers to these questions as she learns about the history of the area and her aunt's own personal history with the tribes she deals with in her practice. As she is confronted with widespread poverty, killing drought, and corrupt government officials Sara's idealism is challenged.

At the start of her journey she longed to make connections with people she met. When she returns to Minnesota she cannot wait to put the whole experience behind her. Essentially she puts up the same barriers that she saw in her aunt.


Blogger fresca said...

Good stuff.
Someone was just telling me about a class she took at St. Thomas on God and the Holocaust: What kind of faith do we have on the other side of the reality of horror?

When can we read your novel???

2:25 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I'd settle for the next page at this point.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Kiara said...

Well, my novel will probably be my thesis project. So it's due next spring.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Jesster said...

Add me to the list of people who would love to read your book.

1:54 PM  

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