Building bridges : how a minority culture speaks to itself and others through historical fiction : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in English at Massey University, Albany Campus, Auckland, New Zealand
This thesis analyses the role of historical fiction in the development of a minority culture with particular reference to how this genre enables the culture to speak to its own members and also to the wider community. Key issues which have created separatism are addressed and also how the sociality of the culture is portrayed. It studies how historical fiction writing, in combining historical data with fictional characters, presents a wealth of perspectives on significant events in the history of minority cultures. An examination of four works of historical fiction, written by contemporary Latter-day Saint authors will evaluate their effectiveness in: cohering a minority social group, presenting key issues which have induced separatism, explaining a shared value system and spirituality, presenting current problems in a coded form and enhancing general community awareness of historical detail and appreciation of doctrinal and spiritual themes.