Date of Award:

2015

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)

Department:

English

Advisor/Chair:

Jennifer Sinor

Abstract

The Legend, the Madman, and the Prophet is a memoir about fathers and sons, about the experience of being a son of a man of the Rocky Mountains, a legend grown old. The narrative centers around my struggle with the fact that my father had grown old and sick while I was still young, and my consequent search for other fathers, employing two primary examples—a martial-arts instructor from my high-school years who was later exposed as a pedophile, and the eccentric figure of my ex-girlfriend’s wealthy and traditional Egyptian-American father. The memoir relates the story of my father’s impact on my perception of manhood, my own experience with depression in the wake of his death, and the story of a spiritual search he began in me, which led me from my boyhood Mormonism toward eventual conversion to Islam. This is a story about fathers and sons, about what it means to lose a father, to want a father, and to learn to be a father to myself.

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