Why is it that male relationships, especially those between fathers and sons are foundational to the western literary canon, while relationships between women, mothers and daughters, get cast aside? I hope to answer this question with my thesis project, which explores the nature and complexity of the relationships between mothers and daughters in relation to the literary canon. With central themes like sexuality, womanhood, race, class, age, etc., stories transcend the boundaries of individual relationships and experiences to create a narrative that is applicable to the experience of many Black and Latinx women.
This project focuses on narrative non-fiction: personal essays and poetry relating to my personal experience with these relationships. It is inspired by the remarkable women who have begun to tell their stories: Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Toni Morrison, and what I, as a fellow woman and writer of color, can carry as their legacy. This project comprises my original essays and poetry, but is rooted in and draws upon the writing of influential women of color. Part of this multigenerational component is an analytical homage to Black and Latinx women authors who have written about their own interpersonal relationships with other women as mothers, daughters, family members, and friends. In that vein, the project is in and of itself a manifestation of what it is inspired by: a reflection of those intergenerational relationships, facilitated by my experience.