Charles D'Ambrosio

Date of Award


Document Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

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



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 214 pages)


Character deficiencies, Short stories, Central Valley (Calif. : Valley) -- Fiction




The following eight stories make up Out the Valley, a collection of short fiction. Each story stands independently as a single work, though together they are bound by ties to California's Central Valley. The places the characters inhabit range widely in socio-economic class systems, from the gang-ruled streets of Fresno in Beautiful, Smart, Talented, to upper middle class suburbia, looking back over one man's life in My Mary. Each character is dealing with their own set of deficiencies, so to speak. In Dominoes, Ross recalls his first love from prison. In Be Thou My Vision, a mother takes a trip to understand the life of her daughter in the wake of her murder. The Bare of Our Chests circles truth in a series of frames as the main character, Maynard, tries to confront the past while mourning his mother. A More Interesting Story shows Joni attempt to find freedom in her world of mental restrictions. In A Well Matched Man, Ephram's superficiality keeps him from finding and recognizing love. The title story, Deficiencies, follows a college-aged young man, Erol, as he learns to write despite dyslexia and the onslaught of obsessive love for his tutor. These are stories that the main characters wish they were not telling--events they cannot face in truth, and so view instead through their own flawed lenses.


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