Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

John Dufresne

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Les Standiford

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Kathleen McCormack

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

rural communities, grief, deli, homsexuality

Date of Defense

2-23-2017

Abstract

BACK TO BLUEFIELD is a collection of ten short stories set in the fictional small town of Bluefield, Ohio. Like “Dance of the Happy Shades” by Alice Munro, BACK TO BLUEFIELD highlights patriarchal limitations women often face in rural communities. In “This Little Light of Mine,” a teenage girl attempts to escape the sexual abuse inflicted on her by her father, while in “Praise Camp,” a youth pastor counsels a teenager to repress homosexual feelings, yet cannot bury her own unrequited love for her female best friend. In the spirit of Hemingway’s “The End of Something,” each story contain a high, clear note of grief. In “Lottie’s Winter,” a widow pushes away a new chance at love because of her lasting grief over her husband’s death. Disoriented by profound loss, and limited by Bluefield’s cultural expectations and economic struggles, each character confronts staggering gaps between their realities and their desires.

Identifier

FIDC001775

Included in

Fiction Commons

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