Charles D'Ambrosio

Date of Award


Document Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

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


Creative Writing

Physical Description

1 online resource (i, 64 pages)


Family relationships -- Fiction, Parents -- Death -- Psychological aspects -- Fiction, Farm life -- Kansas -- Fiction




Set in rural Kansas, this story follows the lives of Jonathan Tate, his sister Lily Anne Tate, and their father, up until his death, Hershall Tate. They are an isolated family, seemingly living outside of time. John opens the novel with a walk into town to set the contrast between him and the rest of the world. Time is the theme and essence, because every scene and the tone of the scenes are weighted by the imminence of Hershall's death. He is dying slowly and so their lives move slowly. Lily can't help but be ornery, while John, assuming all the chores and anxiety of the future without his father, is reserved and reluctant. Hershall is set in his ways and not in a hurry to get the house in order before his death. There is the old-fashioned nature of Hershall, the isolated nature of the whole family, and the rest of the modern world to contend with. These beginning pages are setting up the next stage of the novel where Lily and John begin their journey after their father's death.


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Persistent Identifier