Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA English




Cara Blue Adams, MFA

Committee Member

Nathan Oates, Ph.D.


Latinx, semi-autobiography, academia, immigrant, languages, colorism, Dominican Republic, cancer, New Jersey, anxiety


Quand c'est? is an excerpt from a semi-autobiographical novel about a twenty-six-year-old Dominican American woman named Jada, who moves back to suburban New Jersey from Chicago to begin her PhD studies. Regrets cloud Jada’s initial excitement to escape Chicago (which for years has triggered memories of depression, anxiety, academic failure, and isolation) when the difficulties of cohabitating with her single mother, Altagracia, start to accumulate. Running parallel to Jada’s academic journey is an exploration of approaching bereavement. A few weeks prior to Jada's arrival, her grandfather, Domingo, began losing weight and having trouble breathing, eating, and sleeping. Jada must learn to cope with his potential passing, as well as what the change in family structure will mean for her grandmother, Eufemia, and her own mental well-being. Quand c’est? dramatizes recognizable, human conflicts through a perspective rarely explored in contemporary literature—a dark-skinned, Dominican American young woman raised by a colorblind white-passing Hispanic family, living in the constant interplay of privilege and marginalization.

Available for download on Saturday, May 09, 2026

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