Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Fine Arts

Major

Creative Writing

Date of Defense

4-14-2017

Graduate Advisor

Mary Troy, MFA

Committee

Mary Troy, MFA

Maria T. Balogh, MFA

Brigitte Leschhorn, MFA

Shane Seely, MFA

Abstract

The purpose of my creative writing is to highlight a group of U.S. citizens still woefully underrepresented in literature proper: the Latinx middle class. I’m keenly interested in exploring Puerto Rican and first- and second-generation Latinx immigrant stories. Even though some of the experiences from these groups have been elegantly visited by writers such as Giannina Braschi, Sandra Cisneros, Junot Diaz, Julia Alvarez, and others, there are nuances to the Latinx middle class experience that are yet to be uncovered. Being stuck in the cultural, linguistic, socio-economic, and political middles in a country that has recently taken a largely nationalist and authoritarian turn brings with it a multitude of complications. This further deepens my resolve to uncover the new challenges faced by the second-fastest growing American minority. For instance, I aim to use my essays to bring about a personalized alternative to the highly reflective bildungsroman. On the other hand, my poetry seeks to explore family trauma using Santería –an acculturated Afrocentric response to Catholic colonialism-- as a linguistic and imagistic vehicle. Lastly, my short stories and novels aspire to inform both new and versed readers about the complex dynamics of being “brown.” We write about we know, I suppose, and I’ve witnessed many an injustice and many a miracle. As a Puerto Rican who’s lived in the mainland for over twenty years, my hope is that my words may become part of a larger narrative that represents the undeniable multitude of manifestations of the Latinx experience.