Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts
R. D. Perry
Epistolary, Form, Identity construction, Life writing, Memoir
This thesis examines Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and Kiese Laymon’s Heavy as works of life writing that leverage the epistolary form to engage their direct maternal addressees and audiences beyond them in revision and reconstruction of identity. Secondary audiences are considered in light of Michael Warner’s “Publics and Counterpublics,” and the social affordances of the epistolary form and self-constructive affordances of life writing are analyzed in tandem as a hybrid epistolary memoir form. Specifically, this project explores how the epistolary memoir form affords Vuong and Laymon opportunities for the process of personal, relational, and communal identity construction, particularly around ideas of “American” identity.
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.
Sarah M. Davis
Received from ProQuest
Davis, Sarah M., "The Politics & Poetics of Audience Creation in Contemporary Epistolary Memoir" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2276.