First Advisor

Charles D'Ambrosio

Date of Publication

Spring 6-20-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing






Interpersonal relations -- Psychological aspects -- Fiction



Physical Description

1 online resource (ii, 115 pages)


A collection of short stories, All Begins to Bloom follows a range of young protagonists living in the greater Los Angeles area. In a time when even the most underground lifestyles are commodified, when Independent media is just another genre, when every mode of living has seemingly been exhausted, these characters struggle to forge an identity in the face of adulthood.

From a group of surfers reeling from a careless death ("The Pier") to a young artistic couple brought together by the will to overcome an eating disorder ("All Begins to Bloom"), these stories explore the hollow promises among various subcultures. Instead of finding solace in the possibilities of the future, the narrators often gaze into the past, searching for a lost lesson inside the machinery of an old camera, or a neighbor's memory of the riots of 1992 ("Daydreamers").

Within the confining age of relentless digitization, the fight for human connection is waged. Two brothers, in a string of emails, attempt to make sense of their father's surprising infidelities, exposing the smothered confusions of childhood ("Things Emails Should Not Contain"). In the throes of withdrawal, a young pill-popper is forced to comfort his mother's best friend, a recent widow ("Pharm Boy"). These stories attempt to find an answer to apathy, the unwillingness to care, and to break apart all the defenses one uses to shelter oneself. Whether failing or succeeding, the striving to connect with one another proves to be invigorating.


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