Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (iii, 238 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Ed Schwarzschild

Committee Members

Tamika Carey, Lynne Tillman


Fertilization in vitro, Human, Motherhood, Neonatal intensive care, Psychic trauma

Subject Categories

Creative Writing | Rhetoric


The novel Baby Girl Z examines the worlds of fertility treatment, neonatal intensive care, and early motherhood. The critical introduction highlights the connections between Baby Girl Z and contemporary fiction, autofiction, and memoirs about motherhood while exploring how the traditional tools of literary analysis and creative writing, when paired with feminist rhetorical analysis, promote a new reading of these texts as the literature of lived, traumatic experience. The theoretical underpinnings of the novel can be found in works that explore the intersections of the fields of creative writing, feminist rhetorics and maternal theory, such as Leigh Gilmore’s Autobiographics. The novel’s use of first-person confessional style, fragmentation, and cultural commentary, hallmarks of the genre of autofiction, builds on the work of writers such as Belle Boggs, Jenny Offill, and Maggie Nelson.