Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Degree Name

Creative Writing (Nonfiction)

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Judy Blunt

Committee Co-chair

David Gates

Commitee Members

Tobin Addington


Eating Disorders, Trauma, Treatment, Bodies, Healing, Resilience


University of Montana

Subject Categories



Reclamation is a long-form creative nonfiction piece about a young woman who is diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and seeks out in-patient care. After spending a week in the ACUTE Unit in the Denver Hospital, a specialized care unit dedicated to the medical treatment of severe eating disorders, the narrator is admitted to Monte Nido Vista, an in-patient treatment facility located in Agoura Hills, CA. Throughout the narrative, the narrator vacillates between acceptance and denial of her diagnosis. She doesn’t want recovery for herself just yet – instead, she’s going through the motions of treatment for her family. Additionally, the narrator’s eating disorder is late-onset and therefore, atypical. Not only is she attempting to figure out “the why” of her disorder, but she must acknowledge and reconcile feeling like an anomaly and an outsider within the realm of treatment.

More than anything, Reclamation is a story about trauma and resilience, the wars we wage on ourselves, the relationships that heal, and the humor that makes it all palatable. It is about the efforts we must take to reclaim the bodies we were born into, ones that should have always been ours, but somewhere along the way, we lost possession of. It is about the stories we tell ourselves to stay alive, and the ones we shed when we no longer need them.

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© Copyright 2019 Miranda Ruby Morgan