Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing

First Advisor

Nicole Markotić




Small Face, Big Eyes is a collection of autobiographical essays and memoirs about my experience living in Incheon, South Korea as a Native English Teacher between 2011 and 2013. The collection captures the elements of my life, and the life of fellow expatriates, that took place outside our teaching jobs. Through topics such as smoking, drinking, and eating, I highlight the consumptive nature of living abroad, the way one indulges on the “foreignness” of the culture. I illustrate a South Korea that is unique to my experience of the country, avoiding cultural explanation or romanticisms. Utilizing different lenses of autobiography such as memoir and essay, I maintain a relationship with my “factual” experience of the events as they transpired. Where dialogue appears, every effort has been made to replicate the conversation as best as memory and narrative can allow. David Sedaris says that “memoir is the last place you’d expect to find the truth.” Similarly, my manuscript explores notions of “truth” and “real,” while also creatively depicting my life in Korea. This is not to say that Small Face, Big Eyes is non-fiction, but that it is not fiction, and is as close to a truthful depiction as I hope for, while still offering a compelling story.