Donnelly, Siobhan (2016) The man who disappeared: exploring dementia in short fiction. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The Man Who Disappeared (TMWD) is a short-story cycle exploring ideas of dementia and the self. The collection experiments with point of view demonstrating that there are multiple and varying perspectives from which dementia can be viewed. The full length collection comprises of fifteen or so stories that each tell a different version of dementia and the implications of the disease on the self, but that sit cohesively together to tell a full narrative of the disease. Within these stories broader themes of aging and institutionalisation are also addressed. The creative writing portfolio is an extract of this larger collection and consists of a selection of stories specifically chosen as they reflect the wider topics addressed in the full collection. Like the full length collection, the portfolio opens with the title story ‘The Man Who Disappeared’ (‘TMWD’). Acting as a prologue to the narratives that follow, ‘TMWD’ is an introduction to dementia designed to contextualise the rest of the collection. ‘The Flood’ follows on from the loss of self narrative in ‘TMWD’ and incorporates themes of loneliness and isolation. ‘The Inspector’ twists the loss of self narrative to show that is possible for a person to live with dementia and still retain the core of who they are. Whilst ‘Keys’ and ‘A History Lesson’ explore the broader issues of old age and institutionalisation.

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