Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor

Morgan Read-Davidson

Second Advisor

Rei Magosaki

Third Advisor

Brian Glaser


We Sink Beneath the Sand is a memoir that explores the desire for control in the face of abandonment. A few days before the narrator’s eleventh birthday, her older brother, then a sixteen-year-old boy, walks out of the front door of their home and never returns. For over a decade, the family doesn’t discuss the brother’s absence, save for off-handed comments about his current state of drug addiction and homelessness. Now a young adult, the narrator begins her search for what happened to her estranged brother and starts asking her mother for the truth. In a series of conversations with her mother, she discovers the true circumstances around his departure and his extended disappearance, and along the way she discovers more about her mother and father’s past and must reckon with how the trauma of their pasts affects them still, and how she too finds herself sinking beneath the weight of the past and the present.