Date of Award
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.
Rivera, Vanelis, "Girlsaint" (2022). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 3038.
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