College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing


Timothy Christian


Historical Fiction, Parent-Child Relationship, Accessibility in Historical Fiction, Family in Fiction, autobiographical literature, survey of literature


Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing


Historical fiction gives its readers the chance to meet historic figures, fight alongside their favorite characters in past wars, and experience forgotten ways of life. This genre also offers an alternate route for those who enjoy learning about history but who do not particularly enjoy reading the classics. With my chosen creative work, In the Straits, I invite my readers to explore the lesser-known past of Malaya and what it was like during the days leading up to the bloodiest war in history, World War II, through the eyes of a separated father and daughter who will do anything to be reunited with each other. In this creative work, I intend to demonstrate that past worlds which may seem unrelatable to readers today are made more accessible by the accentuation of the parent-child relationship. For this reason, my thesis is titled “In the Straits: Making History Accessible through the Parent-Child Relationship.” Using a survey of past literature and contemporary historical fiction, I will explain how trends in literature make works accessible to readers during the time in which they are written. Consequently, this demonstrates why contemporary authors often incorporate the parent-child relationship within their works: modern readers are interested and moved by relationship between parent and child. Thus, its emphasis within the historical fiction novel helps make the characters, location, and era of the work more accessible to readers.