Committee Chair

Einstein, Sarah

Committee Member

Baker, Sybil; Balazs, Thomas


Dept. of English


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Alternating between folktales, family lore, and historical fiction, The Story That Cannot Be Told is based on the final few months of Nicolae Ceauşescu's reign in Communist Romania. Ten-year-old Ileane's uncle has been captured by the Securitate after publishing anti-communist poetry. When her father discovers their apartment is bugged, he destroys his daughter's life's work—a Great Tome of stories—and sends her to live with her grandparents in a mountain village. There, Ileane begins transcribing tales that range from her grandfather's participation in the Holocaust to a code disguised as a local legend. She must use these stories to save not only her family but the village itself. The thesis consists of the first nine chapters of the completed novel and a craft essay: “The Slow and the Strange: Deceleration and Defamiliarization in All the Light We Cannot See, The Tiger’s Wife, and The Story That Cannot Be Told.”


This novel would not have been possible without the friendship and generosity of three incredible, Romanian women: Cristina Sologon, Ana Maria Fujimagari, and Cecilia Ioana. Thank you for your countless hours of conversation, research, and remembering. I am forever indebted to my amazing director, Dr. Sarah Einstein. Thank you for believing in me and my writing. Special gratitude also goes to Sybil Baker, for thoughtful comments on an early draft and for introducing me to Theory of Prose, as well as to Dr. Thomas Balázs, who has been a supportive committee member. And, as always, thank you to my best friend and husband, Dustin Kramer, for continuing to take care of me while I follow my dreams.


M. A.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts.




Romania -- Politics and government 1944-1989 -- Fiction.


Creative Writing; Novel; Fiction; Romania; Deceleration; Defamiliarization

Document Type

Masters theses


vi, 88 leaves




Under copyright.


Date Available


Available for download on Saturday, May 01, 2027