Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English/Creative Writing

First Advisor

John Fulton

Second Advisor

Jane Unrue

Third Advisor

Askold Melnyczuk

Abstract

Body Mechanics is a collection of prose that explores the idea of place—physical, historical, and spiritual—and its influence on the construction of self. My work is deeply influenced by the erasure culture of Los Angeles and the American West of my childhood, where neither the buildings nor the people are ever allowed to grow old. The characters within these pages—ranging from a young woman racing to reach the maximum ovarian egg donations allowed by the American Society of Reproductive Heath to an aging retiree indulging in her first full-body massage—all struggle with this same repression of self, this burying of their own history.

I am critically and creatively interested in the narratology of trauma, both personal and cultural, and its relation to the unreliability of all first-person discourse. These narratives, often braiding personal memory and historical facts, attempt to engage with the subjectivity of truth. Built to resemble the complex and layered ways we process trauma, these non-linear narratives attempt to understand themselves through the juxtaposition of shattered images and moments disconnected from time.

Comments

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Available for download on Thursday, June 17, 2021

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