Date of Graduation

Fall 2022


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Jennifer Murvin


This creative thesis includes six flash nonfiction pieces and four essays exploring my relationships with my father, mother, and older sister; this exploration is filtered through the lenses of trauma and mental illness. Notably, five of the six flash nonfiction pieces are written in the literary mode of magical realism, which are analyzed in this thesis’ critical introduction. By evaluating magical realism’s origins in German surrealism and its development within Latin-America—as well as its theoretical correlation to Charles Baxter’s defamiliarization and Milan Kundera’s appeal of dream—I acknowledge magical realism’s literary techniques and cultural motivations within published fiction. I analyze magical realism’s growing influence in creative nonfiction, specifically within poetry and memoirs by Natalie Diaz and Sofia Samatar; this analysis is used as a foundation for analyzing my own magical realist flash nonfiction pieces included in this thesis. Through this critical discussion, I support magical realism as a viable method for creative nonfiction writers to use when processing and sharing stories of trauma and otherness.


creative writing, creative nonfiction, lyric essays, magical realism, family, mental health, disabilities, LGBTQ+, spirituality

Subject Categories



© Rebecca Ann Harris

Available for download on Sunday, December 01, 2024

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