Graduate project

Queens of Sheba

Queens of Sheba is a collection of six personal essays that seek to present both personal story and universal themes. In my essays, I share stories of my family, my father’s dementia, the loss of my first husband, my relationship with food and body image, my grandmother and her kitchen, and running away from home. I intentionally hop from story to story, like stepping-stones across a creek, exploring the themes of the richness of the ordinary, loss and the grieving process, and sisterhood or “sororitas.” In his introduction to The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present, Philip Lopate states, “At the core of the personal essay is the supposition that there is a certain unity to human experience” (xxiii). In my essays, the personal anecdote may be the springboard to the larger topic, or it may be interwoven throughout, eventually merging with the over-arching theme, connecting my story or reflection with a universal idea or question. In the Critical Introduction, I discuss how I choose to emphasize the “personal” part of the personal essay, embracing both its memoir-like study of complex character and the broader aims of the personal essay genre.

Queens of Sheba is a collection of six personal essays that seek to present both personal story and universal themes. In my essays, I share stories of my family, my father’s dementia, the loss of my first husband, my relationship with food and body image, my grandmother and her kitchen, and running away from home. I intentionally hop from story to story, like stepping-stones across a creek, exploring the themes of the richness of the ordinary, loss and the grieving process, and sisterhood or “sororitas.” In his introduction to The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present, Philip Lopate states, “At the core of the personal essay is the supposition that there is a certain unity to human experience” (xxiii). In my essays, the personal anecdote may be the springboard to the larger topic, or it may be interwoven throughout, eventually merging with the over-arching theme, connecting my story or reflection with a universal idea or question. In the Critical Introduction, I discuss how I choose to emphasize the “personal” part of the personal essay, embracing both its memoir-like study of complex character and the broader aims of the personal essay genre.

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