My dissertation, yet in its early stages, will consist of sustained research on narrative interest and voice in memoir that will coincide with its practical application within my own memoir.
The creative work will consist of a majority of said novel, under the working title "Landslide": a memoir of my matriculated upbringing and unstable familial structure across the United States, from roughly five to eighteen years old. Unlike the majority of memoirs written today, my novel will be solely narrated through the perspective of myself as a child in the present tense, over that of a retrospective adult.
Therefore, my critical examination intends to highlight this unique author choice: I plan to explore the role of stylistics and narratology in memoir, and currently hypothesize that it stems from child narration adding a more intimate level of authenticity, allows its readership to trust the narrator more readily. In doing so, it becomes the most effective choice for a memoirist, as it aligns with the argued aim of a memoir: to establish and entertain authenticity through one's emotional (rather factual) truth. My essay will touch on such arguments that narrow in on the nature of narrative retrospection and ulterior motives, distinguishing the two narrators through a discussion of factual vs. emotional truth, authenticity in narrative portrayal and memory, and a sustained analysis of unreliable narration.
This project is supervised by Thomas Legendre, Dr. Violeta Sotirova, and Jon McGregor. I received my Master's (awarded with Distinction) in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh in 2019, where my current dissertation stems from. Likewise, I earned my BA's in English Language & Literature and Theatre from Washington College in 2015. I have been a lecturer for many years, currently teaching literature at Rochester University as well as tutoring for The Brilliant Club.