The Flats of Paradise is a collection of personal essays exploring the interconnectivity between humans, land, identity, and belonging. Through the perspective of my experience as a nurse, these essays probe the friction created when borders rub up against each and the comforts gained through connections both spiritual and physical. "Avoiding the Stepladder," for example, examines a near lightning strike on a mountain in relation to the potential pain caused by the human need for touch. "The Dust Trail," a meditation upon various traditions for disposing of the placenta (burning vs. burying), also looks at the problem of finding home when relationships with the land are broken. Other essays in the collection juxtapose memories of people and nature to reflect upon the artificial constructs people erect that separate them from each other and from the land. In "When Nothing Takes Notice," for example, explores similarities between a father's love of the sound of crickets and a child's long wait in line to register for swimming lessons. These and other essays record the search for a sense of place, while also exploring the nature of memory, change, death, and a restless refusal to settle.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Baker, Pamela, "The Flats of Paradise" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6106.