First Advisor

A. B. Paulson

Date of Publication

Spring 6-28-2013

Document Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

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






City and town life -- Montana -- Fiction, Small cities -- Montana -- Social life and customs -- Fiction, Self-actualization (Psychology) -- Fiction, Missouri River -- Fiction



Physical Description

1 online resource (ii, 166 pages)


In the following nine linked stories, characters from disparate backgrounds and socio-economic strata converge in a rural community along the Missouri river in central Montana. A Texas-based oil exploration and production company takes up residence in the area, causing a stir in the neighborhood. Long-time local residents experience their daily lives amid a tourist driven economy and reaffirm their aspirations to leave despite significant obstacles and limitations. In "Show Me the Way to Go Home," a young waitress is stranded after a car accident and seeks help from residents living on the single row of houses in the area. In "Give Death Grace," a resident artist leaves to resolve her tumultuous past with her father. In "A Good Little Fisherwoman," a woman deals with the repercussions of her recent reproductive decisions during a fishing trip. In "Little Fires," a local man deals with the tragic burn injury of a child while also facing deeply rooted resentments with his mother. In "Dwelling," an aging local must decide whether or not she will sell her home to two strangers. In "Other Important Areas of Functioning," a woman decides to discontinue her mood stabilizing medications in favor of a more natural lifestyle. While this place means something different to each of these characters, they all coexist while facing individual challenges.


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This thesis is only available to students, faculty and staff at PSU.

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