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

Debra Dean

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Heidi Scott

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Easy, Hearts, Novel, Contemporary, Fiction, Texas, Prison, Oil, Borchard, Olsen

Date of Defense



Easy Hearts is a novel set in contemporary Texas. Justin Borchard, just paroled after three and-a-half years in prison, returns to his hometown in East Texas where his wife, Melinda, has been tending bar at the Shortleaf Inn. After Melinda confesses to a brief affair with a local oil executive named Waylon Goodwin, an affair she has ended, and facing limited prospects in their hometown, Melinda and Justin make the hard choice to accept a proposition from Waylon: they will leave home for Hearts County, a desolate swatch of hardpan in the Permian Basin of West Texas, where Waylon has arranged steady work for Justin in the oil fields. When Melinda vanishes from their trailer home, Justin must re-cross Texas, avoiding the law and dangerous railway men, so he can confront his troubled past, his increasingly mysterious wife, and the secrets sown around them.



Included in

Fiction Commons



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

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