First Advisor

Janice Lee

Date of Publication

Spring 7-12-2018

Document Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

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







Physical Description

1 online resource (ii, 98 pages)


The collection of works contained herein cast a critical eye on popular modes of storytelling as forces at work within our culture that shape our emotional realities. Each of these stories is driven by one or more of the following emotional engines: the ideas of regret and responsibility for the self; an individual reckoning with the narratives society provides for us to exist within; the space between the construction of our "selves" for others, and how we exist in our own skins; and the particular pitfalls of human interaction with these concepts through digital interfaces (social media and television). At stake in this collection of stories is the characters reckoning with their own grasp of personal responsibility -- where its boundaries exist and what it can look like in different situations.

Throughout the collection, similar names and events refract and echo one another, giving the prose a textured and haunted effect that underscores the stories' narrative content. As a cohesive unit, this collection strives to destabilize the reader's expectations of what it is possible to receive from a work of fiction, moving beyond the Freytag "what-happened" construction into a meta-consideration of the structure of stories we tell ourselves in our own lives -- including an awareness of how this structure supports or, frequently, limits us.


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

Persistent Identifier