Date of Award

Fall 12-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Creative Writing



Major Professor

Dixon, Nancy

Second Advisor

Boyden, Joseph

Third Advisor

Boyden, Amanda


The Restinga explores dysfunctional sexual relationships in the familiar context of a love triangle, but it is set in the exotic African landscape of pre-war colonial Angola in 1960, where the author spent her childhood. The Restinga evolved from a short story presented at a graduate fiction workshop led by Joseph and Amanda Boyden at the University of New Orleans’ Madrid campus in the summer of 2007.

Research for this project included:

  • Many interviews with the author’s parents
  • Compilation and review of family home movies made at the time
  • Interview with Richard J. Houk, author of the article: “The Hotel Terminus: A Farce without an Ending”

(The Journal of African Travel-Writing, Number 1, September 1996 (pp. 42-51)

  • Interview with Nancy Henderson-James, author of: “At Home Abroad: An American Girl in Africa”


The Lover, a novel by Marguerite Duras, influenced the author in her writing of The Restinga. This ex-pat novel maps the sexual affair of a very young girl and a much older Chinese man in colonial Vietnam of the late 1920s. Both works look into the sexuality of a “tck” (third culture kid) in an exotic landscape.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.