Award Date

5-1-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

First Committee Member

Maile Chapman

Second Committee Member

Douglas Unger

Third Committee Member

Vincent Perez

Fourth Committee Member

Sheila Bock

Number of Pages

111

Abstract

In memoir, writers point their pens towards the hazy space between “nonfiction” and “fiction,” constructing narratives based on their memories. My thesis, “Notes from Reconstructing Illness,” is a memoir about illness that attempts to lay bare the various layers of its construction. In Part One and Part Two, I use the tools of fiction to construct scenes where I reenact memories from my past, but these scenes are put alongside sections containing more “nonfictional” modes such as present day reflection on my “past self” and the inclusion of text from my medical record and other healthcare documents. Therefore, in addition to being a memoir about illness, the thesis is also about the constructed nature of writing itself, and to help emphasize this point, there are bracketed sections containing the “material” for the narrative’s continued construction. Finally, there is one last layer of construction: as the memoir delves into the story of my past illness, in dealing with the past it also inevitably reveals my origins, my construction as a writer. What better way to conclude my thesis, then, than with Part Three, a sort of “appendix” which contains two artifacts, “Moon Fog” and “The Yellow Suit,” both short fiction pieces that reflect the common themes of alienation and illness seen in the memoir aspect of the thesis.

Disciplines

Creative Writing

Language

English

Available for download on Tuesday, May 14, 2019


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