English Language and Literature ETDs

Publication Date



This creative non-fiction dissertation consists of a travel memoir written while I was enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. It incorporates many letters I wrote in 1969. This manuscript consists of the first two parts of what I envision as a three-part memoir. The memoir braids present-tense (2009) and past-tense (1969) travel stories. The narrator, a sixty-three year old woman who has taken extended leave from her job in response to her lifelong urge to get 'out of the box,' takes long camping trips in the American Southwest in her pickup truck. While traveling, she reads letters she wrote about her hippie travels through North Africa forty years ago. The letters bring to mind past stories, which she interweaves with her current adventures. She reflects on the similarities and differences between her current and her former traveling self. In Part I, the narrator travels from California to New Mexico while remembering her trip from Rome to Casablanca. In Part II, on another California-New Mexico trip, she recalls traveling through southern Morocco with her young Berber lover and reflects on cultural differences and conflicts. At the end of Part II she injures her ankle and must head home. In the projected Part III, the narrator mulls over her breakup with the Berber lover and subsequent aimless existence with other hippies in Morocco; she is also dealing with her ankle injury, which has stopped her from traveling. She must come to terms with who she was 1969 and with the fact that because of her injury she can no longer use traveling to stay 'out of the box.'

Degree Name

MFA Creative Writing

Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Jussawalla, Feroza

Second Committee Member

Thiel, Diane

Third Committee Member


Project Sponsors

Hillerman-McGarrity Scholarship




DuPertius, Lucy Gwyn--Travel--Africa, North, DuPertius, Lucy Gwyn--Travel--Southwest, New, Women travelers--Africa, North--Biography, Women travelers--Southwest, New--Biography, Africa, North--Description and travel, Southwest, New--Description and travel, Authorship

Document Type


Available for download on Thursday, July 31, 2110