Portland State University. Department of English
Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing
1 online resource (ii, 98 pages)
The stories collected within this thesis are, by and large, tales of loss. To be more specific, the following losses occur: one brother, two lovers, a doting former sister-in-law, one's own health, certain freedoms, (including a room with a view,) life itself (twice,) and innocence, forever gone in an absent-minded moment of brutality.
Chronology is toyed with somewhat, more so towards the beginning of this collection, less so towards the end.
The opening story, "Three Kitchens," is comparatively unique in that it is the sole work written in the first person. While it fits thematically within the larger whole, it has been placed at the beginning based on this one difference.
"Birdsong," a tale of regret centered on not leaving when it is prudent to do so, is the next story.
The remaining four stories can be thought of as a pair of twins; "Candelabrum," and "The Becoming of Felix Wagner," both occur in 1961 East Berlin, during the construction of the Berlin Wall, (and are more closely entwined than are the last two stories.) "Hernandez," and "Hank Flowers," occur within the span of a few days in mid-1980's rural Pennsylvania, though are only bound together by the thinnest of threads.
Walsh, Mark, "Mud, Twigs, and Clover" (2019). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5181.