Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type

Thesis (Access Restricted)

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



Committee Chair

Iversen Kristen

Committee Member

Jan Coleman

Committee Member

Charles Hall


This thesis is a creative nonfiction book that tells a coming-of-age story, set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Memphis, Tennessee. It is told by a first-person narrator in three chronological parts. The first part of the book covers the time-period of gestation through high school and show the childhood a sickly girl growing up in Pittsburgh as a member of an emotional-stunted family. The narrator sees the world through a rich imagination and advanced understanding of science. The next part moves to the University of Pittsburgh. It tells the story of the narrator's first love and how her medical and family histories affected that relationship. Finally, the three part of the book picks up as the narrator graduates from college, moves back to parents' home, and discovers a breast tumor at the age of 23, before packing up her things to Memphis for graduate school--only to return home to Pittsburgh once again when receiving more bad medical news. The book focuses on the narrator's literal and metaphorical organ failures and explores how her illnesses altered her closest relationships.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.