The Cythara

Date of Award


Document Type

Bibliographic Record

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Elizabeth Searle

Second Advisor

Breena Clarke

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


The Cythara tells the tale of two mothers, living one hundred and fifty years apart, who dwell on the same hardscrabble land in Downeast Maine in very different times. Each suffers the loss of a first born child and their losses threaten to derail them. The bereaved women connect through elusive spirits and an old hymnal. The Cythara explores time, memory and grief in a cautionary contemporary tale with a decidedly gothic twist.

Phoebe and Alexis reflect in the daily work they do the expectations of theirwidely disparate generations yet their lives' experiences remain deeply the same. Neithercould foresee nor forestall the unexpected consequences of complicated grief.


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