Graduate project

In There Somewhere: A Memoir

ABSTRACT IN THERE SOMEWHERE: A MEMOIR by Christopher William Cullen Master of Arts in English California State University, Chico Spring 2009
 In There Somewhere is a memoir focusing on my family and relationships, and on coming of age and the male identity. This memoir explores the nature of inter-generational male relationships. More specifically, I examine both my relationship with my father and my relationship with my grandfather; I also examine my father’s and grandfather’s relationship. This multi-generational approach allows the reader to understand how the past affects the future and how my grandfather’s and father’s relationship affects my own relationships with both of these two men. The memoir is divided into a critical introduction, which examines and contextualizes theories developed and explored by Bill Roorbach, Tim O’Brien, John Gardner and Charles Baxter, and four full-length chapters. The critical introduction also examines some contemporary memoirs and applies these theoretical ideas all while trying to explain where I fit in the literary landscape. The four subsequent chapters all focus on a particular story, but within each story other memories and events are developed. These flashbacks
 vii
 help to weave all the chapters together to form one full-length memoir rather than four shorter individual memoirs. Through the progression of the stories this memoir invites the reader to witness a young six-year-old boy learning to play golf and bond with his father change to a more mature adult figure who is forced to grow up and deal with difficult problems and situations. It is a complicated family memoir about love and pain and finding one’s own place in the world and in the family.

ABSTRACT IN THERE SOMEWHERE: A MEMOIR by Christopher William Cullen Master of Arts in English California State University, Chico Spring 2009 In There Somewhere is a memoir focusing on my family and relationships, and on coming of age and the male identity. This memoir explores the nature of inter-generational male relationships. More specifically, I examine both my relationship with my father and my relationship with my grandfather; I also examine my father’s and grandfather’s relationship. This multi-generational approach allows the reader to understand how the past affects the future and how my grandfather’s and father’s relationship affects my own relationships with both of these two men. The memoir is divided into a critical introduction, which examines and contextualizes theories developed and explored by Bill Roorbach, Tim O’Brien, John Gardner and Charles Baxter, and four full-length chapters. The critical introduction also examines some contemporary memoirs and applies these theoretical ideas all while trying to explain where I fit in the literary landscape. The four subsequent chapters all focus on a particular story, but within each story other memories and events are developed. These flashbacks vii help to weave all the chapters together to form one full-length memoir rather than four shorter individual memoirs. Through the progression of the stories this memoir invites the reader to witness a young six-year-old boy learning to play golf and bond with his father change to a more mature adult figure who is forced to grow up and deal with difficult problems and situations. It is a complicated family memoir about love and pain and finding one’s own place in the world and in the family.

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