Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Lynne Barrett

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Men-Jane Rochelson

Third Advisor's Name

Denise Duhamel

Date of Defense



Decency is a collection of short fiction that examines how people struggle with the conflict between their compelling inner lives and cultural norms. The stories are concerned with dishonesty about self, sexuality and love and examine themes of true and false, honesty and disguise. The protagonists struggle to maintain a mask of normalcy, but in the cathartic process of shedding their facades, they subject themselves to painful risks, lose jobs, human connection and beloved illusions. They are male and female and range in age from sixteen to mid-fifties and include a honeymooner in Rome, a nail tech in Miami, a suburban English teacher and a naive adolescent in 1960's rural California. The stories are narrated in both first and third person, and the plots vary from chronological to more complex time structures. The tone is on the border between comedy and the serious, and the collection is filled with optimism.



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