Date of Graduation

Fall 2017


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Jennifer Murvin


creative nonfiction, growth as a writer, life journeys in essay, memories, personal essays, perspective

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


This thesis begins with a critical introduction about my journey from fiction student to nonfiction writer. I use quotes from Michel de Montaigne, Lee Gutkind, Phillip Lopate, Joan Didion, Mark Doty, Jo Ann Beard, and others, to discuss nonfiction writing as a genre. I develop the idea that the nonfiction writer is influenced by past experiences or memories, and uses those memories to create a work of nonfiction. The research and reflection necessary to the writing of nonfiction often allows the writer to be shaped by the narrative she is attempting to shape. This often results in a journey of change in the writer’s life, because the writing of nonfiction can bring about understanding, healing, and forgiveness. After the critical introduction, the reader will find six personal essays. These were not written with a particular theme in mind, but most of them have to do with journeys, some of which are short, and others of which are lengthy. These essays explore issues such as change, continuity, family, and relationships.


© Linda S. Foster

Available for download on Friday, December 31, 2021

Open Access