When Death Gave Birth to a Writer : A Collection of Essays and Poems
This personal collection of creative nonfiction sheds light on issues of abandonment, victimization, and dysfunctional relationships. It is accompanied by poems that serve as prefaces to each individual story, as well as epigraphs pulled from film, literature, and music. Readers will get a glimpse into the following roles that help define my character: daughter, teacher, mentor, lover, and student. More importantly, they will be introduced to characters who impacted my life in various ways, without whom I would not have a broadened sense of awareness. My thesis started as an idea in the summer of 2011 when I photographed abandoned houses on NC-43; those once homes, now dilapidated buildings, began to symbolize what once was and how they came to be. I thought of myself. I related past happenings in my life to what stood broken before me: the night my father died; afternoon conversations with a Mexican mother and her struggle to bring her son, Jésus, to the United States; a distant relationship between my own mother and me; and the first moment I felt violated by someone. Those damaged buildings and I had something in common; I felt a connection to the unknown stories embedded within their broken structures. Perhaps stories like mine have already been written, but certainly not in my unique style or voice. I exposed others along with myself in order to bring important issues to the surface, issues that readers could find relatable: student-teacher relationships, failed love, sexuality, cancer, loss of youth and faith, and being abandoned by those we love most, both emotionally and physically. My stories often follow a non-linear format, switching from past to present so that reason and emotion are better understood as a whole. Subject matter often reveals uncomfortable truths, such as a detailed scene of being molested by the same man that read the eulogy at my father's funeral - this brings me back to the idea of those unkempt houses, and how they transformed from homes to empty structures. What each of us becomes is often times a direct effect of past happenings. We ultimately have no knowledge of our futures, yet we are constantly reminded of what brought us to this point in our lives. Those buildings may be standing on rotting foundations, but they are indeed, still standing; as long as they stand, the stories will remain kept inside.
Carpenter, Amber. (January 2012). When Death Gave Birth to a Writer : A Collection of Essays and Poems (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/3858.)
Carpenter, Amber. When Death Gave Birth to a Writer : A Collection of Essays and Poems. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, January 2012. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/3858. June 15, 2021.
Carpenter, Amber, “When Death Gave Birth to a Writer : A Collection of Essays and Poems” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, January 2012).
Carpenter, Amber. When Death Gave Birth to a Writer : A Collection of Essays and Poems [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 2012.
East Carolina University