Dancing at the edge : confessions of a female traveler

Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Dan Wakefield

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Richard Sugg

Third Advisor's Name

Lynne Barrett

Date of Defense



This memoir is a collection of attempts to search for a personal anchorage or home. It is a decidedly female journey for a woman's place in the world.

The manuscript details the quest of a female journalist for a sense of wholeness following a childhood with a mentally ill mother. It consists of three parts: the first, an account of childhood; the second, a narrative of a search "on the road" during a journalism career; and, third, an interior quest for a life context that included faith. The journey wound through Latin America, the Caribbean, and Southwest Asia.

What is "home"? Is it family? God? A sense of safety? For me, the need to know emerged in childhood. It included a spiritual quest for a higher power that eluded me as a shadow fled the sun. In adulthood, travels for my work pushed the question as I saw how others answered these questions. The search took me to Taos, New Mexico, where I sought a vision of my death, to Bangladesh, where I learned first hand about women's suppression, and to Lima, Peru, where I believed death by terrorist to be imminent. My quest carried me further into the practice of Buddhism. It became a search for a greater "presence" I was unable to define. It continued through the death of my Alzheimer's iv afflicted mother. The journey, though full of adventure, held answers that often seemed beyond my grasp. Or so I thought.

Ultimately, the search turned out to be an inside job.



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