Body: A Life in Parts

Date of Award


Document Type

Bibliographic Record

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Debra Marquart

Second Advisor

Suzanne Strempek Shea

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


Body: A Life in Parts is a memoir written in fragments, where a woman's life is remembered through the emotional and muscle memory of various body parts. "Hips," "Teeth," "Skin" and soon, are catalysts for inquiry and story, and interconnected essays that reveal often tender, funny and sometimes heartbreaking moments in what the author calls her (extra-) ordinary journey, filled with wanderlust, love and loss.

Vivid scenes evoke the rich interior life of the author, from her early years as a curious latchkey kid and rebellious youth in her native Norway, to becoming a wife, mother and convert to orthodox Judaism in her adopted homeland, the USA. The advent of divorce and being disowned by her ex-in-law family, as well of the death of her father, fuels a deeper search of coming to terms with and understanding the meaning of loss, and her own role in these challenging life events.

By partnering with her body and not just her mind, Lichtenstein discovers a unique way to mine for forgotten or remembered personal experiences, and the result is an original lens through which to explore universal themes.


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