Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Juyanne James

Second Advisor

Patrice Melnick

Third Advisor

Randolph Bates


This is a creative nonfiction narrative mapping the narrator’s girlhood through the lens of her religious and cultural upbringing and diary entries while growing up on the island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. It combines personal experience, memory, reflection, and extensive research on the cultural and societal references of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The work is formatted in a cycle of essays joined by common themes and a central memory—the narrator’s desire to be bestowed sainthood as a child. The writing style and structure of the work are influenced and inspired by the writing of Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House), Melissa Febos (Girlhood and Abandon Me), Ocean Vuong (On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous), and Audre Lorde (Zami: A New Spelling of My Name). Ultimately, the reader is presented a story about self-identity, personal discovery, and the power of looking back and learning from our childhood selves.


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.

Available for download on Thursday, December 16, 2027

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