First Advisor

Charles D'Ambrosio

Date of Publication

Spring 7-25-2013

Document Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

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






Elvis Presley (1935-1977) -- Fiction, Small cities -- West Texas -- Fiction



Physical Description

1 online resource (iii, 382 pages)


In the novel Elvis Plays Texas, which is my Thesis project to meet the requirements for a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing/Fiction, a little town in far, far West Texas and its people are having a very difficult time and facing what promises to be a bleak future—a long, long drought has exhausted their water supply, oil has peaked and turned down, “fracking” threatens their way of life, friends and family and neighbors are loading up and leaving town. Then, Elvis Presley shows up. It’s the 40th anniversary of the day he died, August 16, 1977, and he, spiritually though appearing in every way to be flesh and blood, is visiting those who’ve continued believing in him and to whom he had been particularly important during their younger lives. My own long history in that part of the country has played its considerable role in informing the setting, the tone, the atmosphere. These are the kinds of characters—strange birds all—I grew up with. The country is the southwestern desert, hot, dry, empty, big sky—the kind of neighborhood that lends itself to oddities like Elvis throwing a benefit concert to help them out of the economic ditch.


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

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