The Dead Fish at Twenty Mile and Other Stories from Bodock, Mississippi

Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

John Dufresne

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Denise Duhamel

Third Advisor's Name

Bruce Harvey

Date of Defense



THE DEAD FISH AT TWENTY MILE AND OTHER STORIES FROM BODOCK, MISSISSIPPI is set in a mythical town of nine-hundred-and-forty-eight Bodockians on the northwest corner of fictitious Claygardner County. Much like the canon of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha works, the stories in this collection contribute to the myth of Bodock-from the fictional town's origins sometime in the 1830s, to the turn of the twenty-first century-while exploring such themes as mortality, regret, folklore, the New South at the end of the twentieth-century, and the relationship between man and nature. With the exception of the title story, the occasion for these stories is the ice storm which devastated much of the Mid-South in 1994. To accomplish this myth creation, the stories often employ folklore, magical realism, pathos and comedy, and storytelling, as influenced by Lewis Nordan's Welcome to the Arrow-Catcher Fair and Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find.



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