Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

Mary Swander

Abstract

The first part of The Distance Is More Than An Ocean takes readers on a coming&ndashof&ndashage journey to Poland. I recall my childhood attending the American School and struggling with language as an American&ndashPole. On a visit to my family&rsquos house in Warsaw, my adult perspective confronts my childhood memory as I consider the historical rebuilding of Old Town after its destruction during World War II. With my father, I visit Auschwitz and then recount my grandmother&rsquos story of surviving the camps. While in Krakow, we visit my mother&rsquos friend who taught her Polish. On a bike ride through the countryside of the old capital, I swap languages with that woman's son. I leave Poland with my father, both of us reconnected to the country of our blood.

The second part of The Distance Is More Than An Ocean reorients readers in a dislocating move to America. When our parents attempt to quietly settle in a suburb of Orlando, Florida, my brother and I wildly adventure throughout the city. We splash into backyard pools, cheer for Christian weight lifting teams, fight in public, reject communion, and participate in Pentecostal spiritual gifts. When I contemplate other places, noise totters back to silence. In West Virginia, I survive a freak truck slide down a mountain. I cut ties with an elementary school crush who walked past the Virginia Tech killer the day of the massacre. In Colorado, at a summer Christian youth retreat, my brother and I drift apart as twin sisters tug at our attention and I come down with whooping cough. My faith dries up as I suffer from extreme sweating that isn't cured with prayer, but is healed with aluminum&ndashbased medicine that could cause memory loss. Finally, at Chautauqua, I yield to the whisper of God rippling through a Quaker meeting

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/etd-180810-671

Copyright Owner

Chris Wiewiora

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

147 pages

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