Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
First Advisor's Name
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Julie Marie Wade
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Committee Title
PTSD, military, child abuse, memoir, diasporas
Date of Defense
ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS
THE STRING OF 10,000 FIRECRACKERS
Florida International University, 2017
Professor Les Standiford, Major Professor
THE STRING OF 10,000 FIRECRACKERS is a collection of personal essays that examines the narrator’s upbringing as a Marine Corps brat, and her experience immigrating into civilian society in the United States after a childhood segregated behind barbed-wire on military bases.
The collection begins with the title essay, when the narrator, at nine years-of-age, tosses an ignited string of 10,000 firecrackers at her stepfather, a decorated Vietnam veteran, triggering post-traumatic flashback, and a reflection on the author’s experience recovering traumatic amnesia. Intended to mimic the disjointed recall of trauma, the opening essay also serves to inform the subsequent essays in the collection, which take place between 1974 and 2014. Thematically, the collection explores: alienation from homeland and family, the diasporic nature of military life, the devastating effects of war, childhood sexual abuse, violence, death and grief, breaking the silence of long-held family secrets, and finding a place to call home.
Becker, Jan M., "The String of 10,000 Firecrackers" (2017). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3265.