Date of Award

Winter 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chairperson

Kristine Ervine, PhD

Committee Member

Nancy Pearson, MFA

Committee Member

Peter Duval, MFA


This thesis represents four chapters of a memoir. The first chapter is a work of fiction and the remaining three chapters are written in the genre of creative nonfiction.

The completed work will continue this structure and present personal narratives of memoir interspersed with works of fiction. Fiction serves to support and complement the variability and deficits of memory, to fill in the gaps, in the process of revealing the personal truth of memoir. The two genres will be linked in terms of theme, metaphor, and lyric voice..

Fundamental to this thesis is the assumption that a memoir can reveal a person’s authentic self and emotional truth. At the center of my truth is a need to find meaningful purpose and personal significance. Growing up a doctor’s son, I struggled to find the extrinsic value and public acceptance my father embodied. Most poignantly, I fell short of my own expectations. If I’m being honest, this project is an attempt to achieve external validation and become a writer of some renown. If I’m fortunate, I’ll locate an intrinsic worth inside my own skin.