Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Access Type

Campus Access

Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Immigration, Identity, Transnationalism, Origin


Roberto and his family moved to the United States from his native El Salvador after his older brother drowned on a desolate beach. As an adult, he returns to that same beach to reconcile with what his brother’s death has meant to his life and what he missed out on by being raised as an American. On that beach, he encounters Laurencio, an old fisherman who seems to empathize with Roberto and shares with him the legend of Hugo el Maximo, also a fisherman who was dragged away by the ocean but resurfaces and endures a difficult journey as he returns to his village. Entranced by the legend, Roberto listens to Laurencio, and his own difficulties and unresolved issues about origin, immigration, and identity surface as Hugo’s story unfurls.

First Advisor

Sabina Murray

Second Advisor

Chris Bachelder