Heather Gaddy

First Advisor

Diana Abu-Jaber

Term of Graduation

Fall 2000

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in English







Physical Description

1 online resource (ii, 91 pages)


The wife reminds herself that she must breathe. To find a steady center in the chaos that is her confused rage; this will help to transform her lack of control into that enviable ability to gracefully cope. She knows this from somewhere deep inside of herself, and she also read about it in a book. She takes a big breath, but the calm eludes her. She finds other ways to keep the moment in hand. Counting the husband's movements, watching the crows fly and making decisions about her future according to how they land, combing her hair too hard. Amazingly, he stays near, even with her stinking hate of him; he reaches for her hand on any day and looks in her eyes without fear. She is baffled, suspicious, and secretly relieved. She stays and the days pass. Something grows, her own kind of breathing comes.

Her journey is like the journeys of the characters in these stories. The stories explore the ways close relationships can be awkward, and ingrown, and the kinds of rituals people create within themselves to cope, and even, at times, to change.


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