The Human Origins of Beatrice Porter and Other Essential Ghosts

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Virginia Tech

The following manuscript is a collection of linked stories that follows a family from Jamaica and Trinidad to the U.S. and back. The collection focuses on two sisters' episodic journey through their sexual awakenings, their mother's illness, their father's violence and absence. In the process, the sisters come to terms with their own hybrid identities. In writing this book, I drew not only from my personal experience, but also from extensive research both in Trinidad and Tobago and in books and oral histories. The enclosed stories include, "What's My Name?" which is told from the point of view of oral history personified--a narrator trying to break free from "dominant narrative." In this way, my work aims to challenge the nature of narrative itself. Other pieces such as, "Taino Instructions for Communicating with Dead Mothers," re-purpose historical figures into present day in order to create a mythic ghost story.

fiction, thesis