Burning swing : a Haitian childhood

Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

John Dufresne

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Bruce Harvey

Third Advisor's Name

Debra Dean

Date of Defense



Burning Swing: A Haitian Childhood is a memoir that describes a sometimes difficult and sometimes pleasurable journey through the narrator's childhood and teenage years in Port-au-Prince. This work aims at capturing the tone of a very young person caught up in her own adolescent world-with all the innocence and evil, cruelties and fears-as she witnesses social chaos. Influenced thematically by Mary Karr 's Cherry, which describes the author's troubled relationship with her mother and her desire to leave the town where she was raised, Burning Swing focuses on M.J.'s relationship with her bipolar father and her o fevered need to escape a place where violence and bloodshed are commonplace. As she attempts to leave, the narrator discovers an acute interest in writing, which helps her gain a better understanding of her father and leads to an attempt at reconciliation.



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