The Children's Book
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
The Children’s Book is a hybrid poetry and nonfiction text that centers around the event of a phone call the author received in July 2015, in which the caller, a ghost from the author's past and a felon convicted on the charge of sexual battery, discussed the idea of redemption through the writing of a children's book upon his release from prison. The book explores themes of violence and trauma to the female body and functions as a tool for agency for the author in reclaiming that story from the mouth of her perpetrator. It utilizes a multiplicity of forms and the languages of various disciplines, such as rhetoric, astronomy, and physics, to communicate the nuances and complexities of taking ownership of ones own body and past again; it asks if redemption is possible, and for whom it is possible. The project focuses on the experience of the author—the victim/survivor of the violence—writing through these questions of redemption, rather than on the actual violence itself. In this way, The Children’s Book pulls focus away from the spectacle of rape, and places it instead onto the process of healing, and the articulation of that process.
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Brake, Mary Katherine, "The Children's Book" (2016). LSU Master's Theses. 3118.