Mungabah: A rural romance novel and exegesis
thesisposted on 2018-06-18, 00:00 authored by Kristy TaylorKristy Taylor
This Masters by research consists of a rural romance novel called Mungabah, and an accompanying exegesis. The novel is set in remote south western Queensland in the contemporary period and evolves through the life of Kylie, effectively a lost city girl from Brisbane who unsuspectingly inherits a large run-down farm and homestead in the country and who is also betrayed by her boyfriend boss in the city. Love develops between Kylie and a good looking farm hand called Jack, though this is not straight forward because they could be related. In the country Kylie flounders as she finds herself completely out of her depth in rural life, but gradually finds her feet and makes herself an integral part of the community, gaining a better understanding of herself and finding love along the way. The rural romance sub-genre has become very popular amongst both writers and readers in Australia yet the sub-genre and reasons for its popularity remain underrepresented in the scholarly literature (Flesch 2004; Fletcher 2013). Situating my study within this gap in the literature, my aim in the exegesis is to explain how I have created a novel that applies inventive ways to incorporate pair-bonding and social issues into the narrative and plot, while concurrently respecting the integrity of romance as a genre with its core set of conventions around the protagonists’ quest for ‘true love’. Mirmohamadi (2015) argues that ‘the burgeoning genre of Australian rural romance novels...shares significant and defining generic features with romance fiction...it also reworks conventional forms to address current socio-historical conditions in rural Australia’. Advancing the innovation of the romance genre means challenging the established tacit ‘rules’ of the form as well as challenging the normative tendencies traditionally reinforced in the genre. Using the practice-led research methodology and drawing on literary theory and the essential elements of published Australian rural romance novels, the exegesis explains how my artefact innovates on the form and content of the Australian rural romance by subverting some of the tropes used in rural romances. This Masters makes an original contribution to the existing scholarly knowledge of rural romance novels and the application of its generic attributes to a creative artefact.