English Language and Literature ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-19-2020


This creative dissertation is a first-person dramatic memoir. This project is an exploration of grief and longing to connect to a mother who died before the narrator could form memory. It examines grief, family, escape, and home, through an Aristotelian ‘hero’s journey’ story structure that connects with several social issues prevalent in US discourse for the past two decades—including the opioid epidemic, migration between Mexico and the US, post 9/11 conflicts in the Middle East, and economic bereavement. Influences for this project include Tobias Wolff, Alison Bechdel, Mary Karr, Leslie Jamison, and James Baldwin.

Degree Name

MFA Creative Writing

Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Gregory Martin

Second Committee Member

Daniel Mueller

Third Committee Member

Mark Sundeen

Fourth Committee Member

Julie Shigekuni

Fifth Committee Member

Charlotte Holmes



Document Type


Available for download on Sunday, July 30, 2119