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Half life

Title:

Half life

Foster, Fiona (2006) Half life. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

"Half Life," a novel in progress, includes three main settings and storylines: a fictional family's experience in Ukraine at the time of the Chernobyl disaster; Ontario's Ottawa Valley and the author's family from 1976 to 1989; and the life of Gilbert Labine, a prospector and mining executive in Canada during the first half of the twentieth century. "Half Life" posits uranium as the nexus between these apparently discrete fields: Labine discovered the mineral on Canadian soil in 1929 and built a refinery at Port Hope that continues to have political, environmental and health consequences. Canadian uranium went into the first atom bombs and, along with the domestic nuclear industry that grew, in part, out of Labine's discovery, remains one of the country's major exports. Radioactive waste from Port Hope, the nearby Chalk River facility of Atomic Energy and Control Limited, and high concentrations of naturally occurring uranium inscribed and effected the life of the author's family in the Ottawa Valley, where, coincidentally, Labine himself was also raised. And in Chernobyl, as well as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which will form yet another field in the finished novel), is found the most public and dramatic expression of uranium's divided nature as both promise and threat. "Half Life" takes this duality as both thematic and formal inspiration and uses the idea of mutation, perhaps uranium's most frightening potential, to connect characters, places and events and to put pressure on the division between fiction and non-fiction.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Foster, Fiona
Pagination:iv, 150 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:English
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Di Michele, Mary
ID Code:8707
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:33
Last Modified:15 Sep 2011 15:39
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