Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Julie Wade

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

John Dufrense

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Anne Castro

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


creative writing, nonfiction

Date of Defense



A GROUP OF HYENAS IS A CACKLE is a memoir about sisterhood, success, and self-worth. The memoir spans approximately twenty-five years in the memoir-speaker’s life and is divided into five sections. Book one explores her childhood through high school graduation, focusing on her experiences as the eldest sister in a hardscrabble, IrishCatholic family living in New England during the 1990s and its central defining eventthe death of her mother from a drug overdose. Book two examines a slice of adulthood in the protagonist’s twenties when she was a law student living in New York City with her sister. The remaining three sections work like a ribbon that weaves throughout the narrative via a prologue, a hinge passage, and an epilogue in which the memoir-speaker incorporates women’s gymnastics and explores the concepts of sacrifice, truth, and success to illuminate and unify the major themes of this protagonist’s journey.



Previously Published In

Lunch Ticket (2021)

Included in

Nonfiction Commons



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

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