Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.F.A.

Degree Granting Department

English

Major Professor

John H. Fleming, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Ira Sukrungruang, M.F.A.

Committee Member

Rosalie M. Baum, Ph.D.

Keywords

fiction, suburbia, coming of age, loss, guilt

Abstract

These collected stories are a narrative exploration of a collective life in middle‐class suburbia. Here the reader is introduced to a troop of characters who share a community but yet they are adrift in the atmosphere between identity and memory. At times, as in “When to Lie” and “Afraid of the Question” we see conflict arise when the suburban religious dogma alters character identity, leaving behind haunting memories and scar tissue. Memory and identification play an important roll when, as in “Rx” the protagonist is faced with the sudden loss of his family as he struggles to keep their memories alive—without their memory he is no longer a father or a husband. Whether the characters are looking to re‐engage in society after being done wrong, as is the case in “Playing the Game” or coming to terms with sudden loss, afflicting memories play an important role in each narrative.

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