Leni Zumas

Date of Award

Spring 6-8-2015

Document Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

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



Physical Description

1 online resource (ii, 123 pages)


War stories, American, Iraq War (2003-2011) -- Fiction, Soldiers -- United States -- Fiction




The Horse Latitudes is a collection of stories that documents one infantry squad's time in Baghdad, Iraq. The missions are long stretches of boredom, broken up by flashes of violence. The single sniper shot fired. An IED loosely buried in the roadside, waiting. A schoolyard of kids throwing fist-sized rocks at gun-trucks. The enemy is vast and changing. The downtime is a combination of homesickness, RPGs, and mortar fire. These men suffer through the war, heat, and each other.

These stories look into the fire-fights and their aftermath to get to soldiers' struggles within themselves: how to fight a faceless enemy, what it means to serve, how one soldiers, what makes a man, what makes a good man, what will it mean to die here, and what does it mean not to. This collection dismisses what we think we know about war -- violence, camaraderie, masculinity, enemy, victory -- in order to tell a harder, truer story.


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

Persistent Identifier