Choose me, and, Letting the foetus in
Emerson, Tracey Jane
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Choose Me is a literary novel about abortion. In the dark basement of an Islington flat, a woman lies chained to a double bed. She is Grace Walker – forty-three, single and childless. Her captor is Anna Carmichael, a nineteen-year old girl with a gun. Anna, the disturbed only child of a wealthy couple, has always been haunted by memories of a past life and believes she is reincarnated. She is certain that Grace is the mother who aborted her twenty years ago and has tracked her down in order to execute her revenge. The novel switches between the viewpoints of mother and daughter as they struggle with their feelings towards each other and confront the day of the abortion and its aftermath. The critical component of the thesis, ‘Letting the Foetus In’, explores the process of writing this novel. It highlights the issues encountered whilst drafting an earlier science fiction version by comparing this version with novels such as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Doris Lessing’s Memoirs of a Survivor. It then goes on to discuss the transition from using a science fiction premise to one closer to magical realism, looking at issues of voice and character creation. Examples of ‘abortion-literature’, such as Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing and Louise L. Lambrich’s Hannah’s Diary are also analysed. In the final chapter, Toni Morrison’s Beloved is examined to see what narrative and stylistic devices the author employs to realise her premise.