English Language and Literature ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2020


The Ridgeway Ghost is a memoir in essays about alcohol and alcoholism, about the way my father’s alcoholism has affected my life, about the way that generational alcoholism in my father’s family has affected my life, my relationships, and the way I think about myself. It’s about how place and culture can create the ideal circumstances for addiction to take root in a family and never let go. The story told through The Ridgeway Ghost isn’t unique – it’s abundantly common – but through this selection of essays I analyze the culturally embedded mentality of drinking as a staple of life in Wisconsin and the way functional alcoholism can crater a person or a family.

Degree Name

MFA Creative Writing

Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Gregory Martin

Second Committee Member

Lisa Chavez

Third Committee Member

Andrew Bourelle

Fourth Committee Member

Marisa P. Clark

Fifth Committee Member

Matthew Cashion




Memoir, Nonfiction, Midwest, Wisconsin, Coming of age, Alcoholism

Document Type


Available for download on Monday, July 31, 2119