Adoption, Alcoholism, Biological relatives, Cancer, Family, Loss, Memoir, Memory, Nonfiction, Pets, Relationships
“Bloodlines” is a collection of personal essays that focus on the process of remembering, imagining, and reflecting on the past through the lens of a perpetually shifting present. They consider situations ranging from mental and physical illnesses, from cancer to alcohol addiction, to career changes, to the often dysfunctional and displaced family ties that distance and adulthood have not severed. In “Searching,” I write the narrative of the ongoing search for my birthmother, and how the search complicates the relationship with my adoptive mother, who always feared she’d lose me. Similarly, “Of Flesh and Blood” recounts and negotiates how hereditary and environmental factors have shaped my identity. Loss and betrayal are weaved throughout “Flight Patterns” when I trace the links between relationships among my family and my pets. In “Signs and Stars” and “Seeing Stars,” I search for ways of dealing with my cancer diagnosis and alcoholism, weaving through my past as I fight for recovery. By exploring the subjective nature of memory and circumstance through sensory, expositional, structural, and even written documentation, I have attempted to capture what is, for me, the tenuous hold on intertwined moments in time by creating a palimpsest of perspectives.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Toner, Pamela, "Bloodlines" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1502.