Two works in creative non-fiction: The Marine wife and Novosibirsk
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The two memoirs in my thesis universalize personal experience by linking it to larger historical events (war or the fall of the Soviet Union), and illuminate the historical through the lens of intimate life. The first piece Novosibirsk is a memoir that uses my childhood memories of Siberia—where my family spent four months studying Russian—to humanize larger political and historical changes in Russia in the early post-Soviet 1990s. The second piece, The Marine Wife, follows a young military couple as they negotiate their youth and first adult experiences in the shadow of the Iraq War, in an effort to bring a national issue closer to home. Through these pieces, I attempt to examine aspects of history that we tend to disregard: the young military population in our country, who are largely overlooked, and the human face of a culture most Americans dehumanized or vilified during the Cold War. I am working to engage readers of my generation in the larger political and cultural movements that have shaped and are shaping our lives. The pieces interrogate how my generation as a group fits historically into the world, challenging the popular complacent view that history is irrelevant to our lives (and we to it), encouraging readers of my generation to engage with history and see ourselves as part of the larger society.