Title

If You Stop Looking at Me, Will I Disappear

Date of Award

Spring 2020

Project Type

Thesis

Program or Major

English

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

First Advisor

Susan Hertz

Second Advisor

Jaed Coffin

Third Advisor

Tom Haines

Abstract

This is a creative ethnography of the town where I grew up and came of age in my mid-twenties. I’m from Gilford, New Hampshire, a small lake town at the edge of Lake Winnipesaukee. It was a town I’d always envisioned leaving behind, a place full of Yankees who bristled at the thought of outsiders and liberal ideas. I returned home at 24 amidst a flurry of personal and professional failures. I tried to find myself and my happiness in the men I slept with, the drugs I tried, and being everyone but myself. This thesis investigates the darkest parts of rural white womanhood—desire, loneliness, shame—and what happens when all these bottled up feelings are released.

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