When is a man where he drowns: part one of a three-part novel




Shepard, Aaron

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“When is a Man Where He Drowns” is a creative project that forms part of a novel in progress. In the novel, Paul Rasmussen, 31, an anthropology instructor and ethnographer, is recovering from a career setback and early prostate cancer. He takes a job as a fisheries technician in the remote Immitoin Valley, meeting a series of characters who both facilitate and complicate his convalescence. At the conclusion of “Part One: Archaeology,” he begins an ethnographical study of the people who were displaced and relocated when the valley was flooded to create the McCulloch Dam in 1970. The Immitoin Valley is a fictional location, a composite of various communities and geographical features along B.C.‟s Arrow Lakes, the Peace River valley, and other places that have experienced socio-geographical change due to hydroelectric dam activity. When is a Man Where He Drowns, in its entirety, is concerned with themes of exile, displacement and masculinity, using the body and landscape as parallel metaphors. My thesis, which consists of “Part One: Archaeology,” is a standard narrative told in third person. It attempts to establish the protagonist‟s relationship with his body, and sets the stage for the remainder of the novel which will play with different forms of storytelling, including ethnographic field notes, journal entries and transcribed interviews.



novel, creative writing, exile, displacement, masculinity