Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Les Standiford

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Julie Marie Wade

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Asher Milbauer

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

PTSD, military, child abuse, memoir, diasporas

Date of Defense

3-2-2017

Abstract

ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS

THE STRING OF 10,000 FIRECRACKERS

by

Jan Becker

Florida International University, 2017

Miami, Florida

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.

Identifier

FIDC001806

Available for download on Thursday, April 25, 2019

Included in

Nonfiction Commons

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