Date of Award

5-8-2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Abstract

This memoir is an account of the dream my father had for me and the way I eventually came to embrace it after years of rebellion. My father was a Romanian immigrant who lived through the Holocaust, a facet of his life that I never questioned as a child. It was not until nearly twenty years after his death that I began a journey to discover more about my father's past and what it meant to me. As a child, I rejected my father's view of the role women should play in the world-the 1950s version of the housewife who stayed at home rearing children. I was determined to do something else with my life, and eventually I became a journalist. But after finally marrying at the age of thirty-five, I found that my life seemed empty without a family. Fulfilling my father's dream, though, became impossible as infertility problems conspired against me. My desire to have a child finally led me back to my father's corner of the world-Eastern Europe-to adopt a seventeen-month-old orphan from Russia. The memoir is divided into two sections. ''The Proud American" chronicles my father's life in Romania, his escape from that country after the Communists took control in 1944, his emigration to Canada and then America, and my childhood in Florida. "Fulfilling the Dream" covers my career as a newspaper reporter, my struggle with infertility, and my tortuous path toward adopting a child from an orphanage in Moscow. With my return to Eastern Europe, the memoir traces how I finally completed the circle my father began when he left Romania as a young man with no money, education or family, but simply with the dream of a better life in America.

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