Portland State University. Department of English
Term of Graduation
Date of Publication
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing
Sexual minorities -- Peace River Valley (BC and Alta) -- Fiction, Fundamentalism -- Peace River Valley (BC and Alta) -- Fiction
1 online resource (ii, 153 pages)
Set in the Peace River Valley of northern Alberta, this novel follows the first-person voices of three women: a hungry and bombastic deaconess, a homesteading mother doubting her own mind, and a queer farm girl writing letters about calculus and kittens to her best friend and illicit lover. Each of these women reaches for supernatural forces to survive her constrained role in their rigid and isolated subarctic religious community. Their voices guide the story towards a failed Rapture and its aftermath, exploring eschatology, queerness, and translation, as well as the science and magic of environmental forces like swamp gases, ice roads, muskeg bogs, and aspen colonies. The story unspools in both epistolary and direct narrative, weaving Christian fundamentalism into magic realism and the mundane daily labors of women on the northern prairie in 1950. Only the first half of the novel appears in this thesis.
© 2022 Rosanna Beth Nafziger Henderson
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Henderson, Rosanna Nafziger, "The Comb" (2022). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5922.