Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
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memoir, personal essay, motherhood, mental illness
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Written in first person, NOTHING NORMAL HAPPENS TO ME is a memoir in essays that traces the narrator’s journey from self-destruction to creation. Part one encompasses the narrator’s lost years, after she breaks free from the tyranny of her mentally ill mother and goes to live on her own at 17. Part two provides context for those bad girl years, exploring her childhood when she identified with her histrionic mother. Part three comprises stories about the narrator’s years of awakening when she seeks out transcendence, faith, and a family of her own. The pieces vary tonally and stylistically as they attempt to trace the maturing voice of the narrator. Like SEEKING RAPTURE: SCENES FROM A WOMAN’S LIFE by Kathryn Harrison, this collection centers on a young girl, who without her mother’s love, struggles to love herself. It is both a cautionary tale and a story of redemption.
Martinez, Esther C., "Nothing Normal Happens to Me: True Stories of a Journey from Madness to Motherhood" (2015). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1934.
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