Title

Hair on Fire: Essays from a Life

Date of Award

Summer 2018

Document Type

Embargoed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Stonecoast

First Advisor

Susan Conley

Second Advisor

Debra Marquart

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing

Abstract

This collection of essays comprises a memoir of the last 17 years of the author’s life, beginning with the decision to get sober and flashing back to her experience living through 9/11 in New York City. Her 9/11 experience was the catalyst for her decision to flee New York and seek a better life in Vermont. While she found love and the family she always wanted, her alcoholism grew until she decided to quit in order to save her family, and herself.

Life in Vermont proved to be rich with the opportunity for a new career in journalism and domestic life in the county, replete with chickens and the annual quest for firewood. But with that rural life came the personal evolution that comes with sobriety, the reckoning with demons — religion, family — as well as the unexpected challenges evoked by medicine and marriage. Throughout this journey, the one constant throughout, the narrator’s Butch lesbian identity, comes more sharply into focus and informs all of her life experiences, proving that we are not all that different from one another.

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