The Lexicographer's Daughter: A Memoir

The Lexicographer's Daughter: A Memoir

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Date: May 2011
Creator: Lovell, Bonnie Alice
Description: This creative nonfiction dissertation is a memoir of the author's search for the somewhat mysterious hidden past of her father, the lexicographer Charles J. Lovell, who died in 1960, when the author was nine. Her father's early death left the author with many unanswered questions about his past and his family and so she undertakes a search to answer, if possible, some of those questions. Her search takes her to Portland, Maine; New Bedford, Massachusetts; and Pasadena, California, where she tries to discover the facts and uncover the forces that shaped her father's life. Along the way, she realizes how profoundly his death affected and shaped her own life, contributing to the theme of loss that pervades the memoir. In addition, she begins to realize how much her mother, Dixie Hefley Lovell, whose significance she previously overlooked, shaped her life. Ultimately, she comes to understand and accept that some of her questions are unanswerable.
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Backflow: A Collection

Backflow: A Collection

Date: May 2011
Creator: Kullberg, Adam
Description: This collection consists of a critical preface and nine essays. The preface analyzes, first, how the imagination influences the personal journey of a writer, and second, the techniques authors use, mainly form, time, and space, to enact the imagination and propel the reader into an imagined narrative. The essays explore themes of loss, mental illness, the rift between the “real” and the “imagined” life, and the intangibility of memory itself. Collection includes the essays “Into the Snow,” “No Longer a Part,” “Borderland,” “Still Wounds,” “What Stays in Las Vegas,” “Remnants,” “The Root,” “Your Father,” and “The Land Lord.”
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Lining Up

Lining Up

Date: May 2007
Creator: Davis, Allegra
Description: A creative, multi-genre collection that includes three personal essays (non-fiction) and two short stories (fiction). The pieces in this collection primarily focus on the themes of loneliness and waiting. It includes pieces dealing with homosexual relationships, friendships and heterosexual relationships. Collection includes the essays "The Line," "Why We Don't Talk about Christmas," and "Boys Who Kiss Back," and includes the short stories "I Am Allowed to Say Faggot" and "Dear Boy."
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Teleport

Teleport

Date: August 2011
Creator: Bell, C.F. Davis
Description: This collection consists of a critical preface exploring the similarities between serialized comic books, realist fiction and the author’s own writing. The principle discussion concerns continuity, the connecting tissue between ancillary works of fiction, chronology, the function of time in the narrative of related stories, and the function of characters beyond the stories they inhabit. The stories within the collection revolve around an eccentric ensemble of suburban youth whose demoralized and violent actions are heavily influenced by defining moments of their past.
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True Selves: Narrative Distance in Stories of Fiction and Nonfiction

True Selves: Narrative Distance in Stories of Fiction and Nonfiction

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Date: December 2009
Creator: Al-Qasem, Ruby
Description: True Selves: Narrative Distance in Stories of Fiction and Nonfiction consists of a scholarly preface and four creative works. The preface discusses narrative distance as used in both fiction and nonfiction, and as compares to other narrative agents such as point of view, especially in contemporary creative writing. The selection of stories examines relationships, especially familial, and themes of isolation, community, and memory. Collection includes two chapters of a novel-in-progress, Fences, short fiction story "Trees and Furniture," and creative nonfiction essays, "Floating" and "On the Sparrow."
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Noctilucent

Noctilucent

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Date: December 2011
Creator: Bush, Mary Gwen
Description: This dissertation is composed of two parts. Part I discusses the evolution of meditative poetry as a genre, with a particular emphasis on the influence of women poets and feminist critical theory. Part II is a collection of poems. Although several popular and critically-acclaimed poets working today write meditative poems, meditative poetry as a genre has not been systematically examined since M.H. Abrams’s essay on the meditative mode in Romantic poetry, “Structure and Style in the Greater Romantic Lyric.” Because one of the driving forces of meditative poetry is a longing for, or recognition of, a state of perception that lies between individual being and some form of universal ordering principle, meditative poetry might seem to be antithetical to a postmodern world that is fragmentary, contingent, and performative; indeed, earlier definitions of meditative poetry, tied to historical and cultural understandings of the individual and the Universal, no longer reflect “how we know” but only “how we knew.” However, this essay argues that there is a contemporary meditative structure that allows for a continued relationship between the individual and the Universal without resorting to the essentialism implicit in the genre as traditionally described. This new structure owes much to feminist theory, ...
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Stranger Than Fact

Stranger Than Fact

Date: December 2006
Creator: Saxton, Kelly E.
Description: As a dyslexic child, I always had trouble finding my voice. It's hard to express yourself in words, when you struggle with them. For me words always come later when I write. But most people don't understand how I feel. If your synapses fire off at the right time how can you image what it would be like it they didn't? That's where fiction comes in. If you can override someone's lack of experience with the use of a metaphor, then by distancing the reader from reality with an allegory, you can get to truth that's hard to capture any other way. You can also simply tell the truth in your writing with plain nonfiction. For me, fiction and nonfiction are a way for me to claim my voice and convey truth. Only a reader can decided what that truth looks like.
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Peonies for Topaz

Peonies for Topaz

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Date: December 2009
Creator: Churchill, Amanda Gann
Description: A collection of three, interwoven short stories set in Japantown, San Francisco and the Topaz Internment Camp in central Utah during World War II. The pieces in this collection feature themes of cultural identity and the reconstruction of personal identity in times of change and crisis. Collection includes the stories "Moving Sale," "Evacuation," and "Resettlement."
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God's Perfect Timing

God's Perfect Timing

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Date: August 2009
Creator: Rizzo, Steven
Description: When I was thirty-three years old, I discovered I was an adoptee. In this memoir of secrecy and love, betrayal and redemption, I reflect on my early experiences as a doted-on only child firmly rooted in the abundant love of my adoptive family, my later struggles with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, my marriage to a fellow-adoptee, my discovery of my own adoption and the subsequent reunion with my birth family, my navigation through the thrills and tensions of newly complicated family dynamics, and my witness to God's perfect timing through it all.
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Searching for a Savior

Searching for a Savior

Date: December 2015
Creator: Batch, Julia
Description: This collection of essays includes a preference that investigates the role and importance of setting and character in a nonfiction narrative. The preface assesses the writings of four great authors, examining how each author use setting and characterization to further the purpose of their story. This collection focuses on four different issues that the author has wrestled with for two decades. While “Desperado” is an investigation into the problems within her own family, “Being Black Me” highlights the authors struggle against the racial inequality her hometown. “Voices In The Dark”, the author analyze how the abuse she suffered as a child has influenced her life and contributed to a drinking problem that is explored in a later essay “Alors On Danse”.
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Challenge the Silence

Challenge the Silence

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Peterson, Erica
Description: This collection of personal essays about incest, abuse, and depression explores the lasting effects of an invisible childhood. The essays follow the protagonist from the age of five to her early twenties. Her brother, at a young age, becomes sexually abusive of her and her sisters, and her parents fail to protect their daughters. The family is divided as the older girls strive to defend their little sisters, while their parents attempt to excuse their son. When her brother is finally sent away, the protagonist is left to salvage what remains of her relationships with her parents.
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To Be the Child of the Priest

To Be the Child of the Priest

Date: December 2013
Creator: Newman, Kathryn G.
Description: This collection of creative non-fiction essays is written from the perspective of a Protestant Christian church leader’s daughter emerging into adulthood and independence. She labors to define her relationship with God, family, and friends and to determine the complicated, but pervasive role of faith in her life while coping with depression and anxiety; a brain aneurysm and malformation among other health problems; working in an all-male environment in the Houston Chronicle Sports department; the death of her grandparents; the death of a Muslim friend in a murder-suicide shooting; and her troubled relationship with an agnostic friend. Although she expresses her doubts in each scenario, she identifies purpose in the trials and accepts the challenges that accompany being the child of the priest.
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Mr Secrets and Social Media:  the Confession of Richard Rodriguez

Mr Secrets and Social Media: the Confession of Richard Rodriguez

Date: May 2013
Creator: Burns, Amanda Jill
Description: Richard Rodriguez's works create troubling situations for many scholars. Though numerous critics see him as the penultimate Chicano writer, many others see his writing as only pandering to the elite. However, all politics and controversies aside, he is a writer whose ideas upon language and public confession have been revolutionary. Throughout the thesis, I argue that Rodriguez's ideas upon language and identity are applicable to the social media landscape that we reside in currently, especially the public confession. Also, I use deconstructionism, along with postmodern criticism, to illustrate the changing arc of Rodriguez's confession from his first autobiography to his final one. In his first memoir, Rodriguez remains in the closet upon his sexuality, and the reader only catches glimpses of the 'real' character inside his work. In the second memoir, the reader sees a better glimpse because of his coming out; yet, even in this regard, he does not do so wholly and still leaves his confession unfinished. By the third, he applies themes and problems seen in his first and second works to discuss our browning nature, and how we are all sinners and that we desire to confess our sins. In my assessment of Rodriguez, I argue ...
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The Useful Arts

The Useful Arts

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Hindman, Jessica
Description: This creative nonfiction dissertation is a series of braided narratives that chronicle the author's career as a trombonist in the John Smith Ensemble. As an amateur trombonist, the author is shocked to be hired as a professional musician for an orchestra that plays on PBS and at Carnegie Hall. She quickly realizes, however, that the job requires her to play the trombone quietly in front of an unplugged microphone while a CD recording of another, more talented trombonist is blasted out toward an unknowing audience. The job also requires the author to tour around America. The scenes of from this tour are braided with scenes wherein she reflects on her life as a professional fake musician and her past failed attempts at getting a job.
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Homeward Bound: Short Stories

Homeward Bound: Short Stories

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kadura, Karen
Description: This collection contains a preface that discusses the role of landscape and place as they are used in fiction, particularly when they are colored by the writer's own memories of home. The preface is followed by four original short stories, three of which relate to a fictional small town in Texas. "Under the Surface" involves two young boys who begin to relate thoughts of the dead body they find to their own absentee mother. "Tommy" explores a young man's memories of his recently deceased friend, as well as the gossip of a small town. "Stubborn" depicts a man's struggle after his wife has delivered an ultimatum. "Out of the Valley" is about a father and daughter questioning what it means to be normal.
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The Invisible Dragon

The Invisible Dragon

Date: December 2012
Creator: Boutwell, Nathan
Description: This collection of memoir essays chronicles the author's 19 year struggle with chronic depression. "The Invisible Dragon" explores the onset of the disease and its cure. "The Silent Typewriter" looks at how it affected the author as a writer. "Roses for Trish" discusses how it affected his wife. "My Mother's Son" explores the possibility that he inherited depression from his mother. The final essay, "The Dragon Returns" probes the author's life in 2012 with the probability that he has a personality disorder. The preface examines several depression memoirs and explores the strategies used by William Styron, Elizabeth Wurtzel and Kay Redfield Jamison to prevent sliding into the pitfalls inherent in a linear structure. Among these are the use of alternative structures, language, characterization, focus and imagery.
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Running a Family

Running a Family

Date: May 2012
Creator: Rowntree, Miriam R.
Description: This thesis contains two parts. the preface theorizes memory and examines the author’s own experience writing her identity. Part II is a memoir framed with the process of training for a marathon. the marathon acts as a narrative thread that pulls together scenes of memory from the author’s childhood which features the author running away from home on several occasions. Running a marathon and running away from home intertwine to allow the writer to draw conclusions about her life and her family.
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“Almost Astronauts”: Short Stories

“Almost Astronauts”: Short Stories

Date: May 2012
Creator: Miller, Laura I.
Description: In this collection of short stories, I abduct experiences from my own life and take them on an imaginative journey. I experiment with elements of structure and point of view, often incorporating the magical or surreal to amplify the narrator’s internal landscape. As demonstrated in the title story, “Almost Astronauts,” these stories all deal with a sudden and sometimes destructive shift in the narrator’s perspective.
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“The Inevitable: Withdrawn”

“The Inevitable: Withdrawn”

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Date: May 2014
Creator: Christy, Gwendolyn Anne
Description: The Inevitable: Withdrawn is a critical preface and collection of non-fiction writing: personal essay, lyric essay, fragments, and experimental forms. The work’s cohesive subject matter is the author’s European vacation directly following her divorce. Within the pieces, the author attempts to reconcile who she is when starting over and she begins to ask questions regarding the human condition: How do I learn to exhibit intimacy again, not just with romantic partners, but with also in a familial way with my father, and how does absence in these relationships affect my journey and how I write about it? How do I view, and remake myself, when finding my identity that was tied to another individual compromised? How does a body, both physical and belonging to me, and physical as text, take certain shapes to reflect my understanding? How do I define truth, and how do I interpret truth and authenticity in both experience and writing? How do I define and know the difference between belief and truth? And finally, how does narrative and language protect, or expose me? The Inevitable: Withdrawn considers debates regarding the definition of narrative in order to address a spectrum of non-fiction writing. The collection takes into ...
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My Whine, Your Wine

My Whine, Your Wine

Date: December 2011
Creator: Abbott, Shannon Marie
Description: Grapes hold the flavors of the lands where they grow, and when you make wine from them, those flavors of the land come through. Tasting wine from a place you've been can bring you back to that place with aromas and notes indicative of that place. A bottle of wine changes every day, and how it will taste depends on the moment you choose to release it from the glass walls. I have a vested interest in wine, because it is a living thing. I am compelled to make wine because its characteristics are like personality traits. Although some of those characteristics are harsh at times, I appreciate them all. Each trait plays an important role in the balance, the overall personality. Like my own personality flaws, wine's harsh tones can smooth over time. My relationship with wine is constantly evolving, with every new varietal, vintage, batch and blend. Believe me, after some of the jobs I had before my first day at Su Vino, I cherish every moment of my winemaking career. My Whine, Your Wine is the story of how it all started.
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“Wolf Man”

“Wolf Man”

Date: August 2015
Creator: Flanagan, Ryan
Description: This creative nonfiction dissertation is a memoir that probes the complex life and death of the author’s father, who became addicted in his late forties to crack cocaine. While the primary concerns are the reasons and ways in which the father changed from a family man into a drug addict, the memoir is also concerned with themes of family life, childhood, and grief. After his father’s death, the author moves to Las Vegas and experiences similar addiction issues, which he then explores to help shed light on his father’s problems. To enrich the investigation, the author draws from eclectic sources, including news articles, literature, mythology, sociology, religion, music, TV, interviews, and inherited objects from his father. In dissecting the life of his father, the author simultaneously examines broader issues surrounding modern fatherhood, such as cultural expectations, as well as the problems of emptiness, isolation, and spiritual deficiency.
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What Do You Do? A Memoir in Essays

What Do You Do? A Memoir in Essays

Date: August 2008
Creator: Keckler, Kristen A.
Description: These personal essays present a twenty-something's evolving attitudes toward her occupations. Each essay explores a different job-from birthday party clown, to seitan-maker, to psychiatric den mother-while circling around sub-themes of addiction, disability, sex, love, nature, and nourishment (both food and otherwise). Through landscape, extended metaphor and symbol, and recurring characters, the collection addresses how a person's work often defines how she sees the world. Each of the narrator's jobs thrusts her into networks of people and places that both helps and impedes the process of self-discovery. As a whole, the essay collection functions as a memoir, tracking an often-universal journey, one that many undertake in order to discover a meaningful life, and sometimes, eventually, a career.
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The Museum of Coming Apart

The Museum of Coming Apart

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Date: May 2009
Creator: Lee, Bethany Tyler
Description: This dissertation comprises two parts: Part I, which discusses use of second person pronoun in contemporary American poetry; and Part II, The Museum of Coming Apart, which is a collection of poems. As confessional verse became a dominant mode in American poetry in the late 1950s and early 60s, so too did the use of the first-person pronoun. Due in part to the excesses of later confessionalism, however, many contemporary poets hesitate to use first person for fear that their work might be read as autobiography. The poetry of the 1990s and early 2000s has thus been characterized by distance, dissociation, and fracture as poets attempt to remove themselves from the overtly emotional and intimate style of the confessionals. However, other contemporary poets have sought to straddle the line between the earnestness and linearity of confessionalism and the intellectually playful yet emotionally detached poetry of the moment. One method for striking this balance is to employ the second person pronoun. Because "you" in English is ambiguous, it allows the poet to toy with the level of distance in a poem and create evolving relationships between the speaker and reader. Through the analysis of poems by C. Dale Young, Paul Guest, ...
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“Valentine’s Day” and Other Works

“Valentine’s Day” and Other Works

Date: May 2012
Creator: Thornburg, Chrissie
Description: The following collection includes three short stories and two essays compiled with a critical preface. “Valentine’s Day” explores the limits of friendship and love in various situations including, two road trips (one fictional and one factual), pet ownership, and the impersonations of Frank Sinatra.
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