Scorpion dance

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

Les Standiford

Third Advisor's Name

Gisella Casines

Date of Defense



This is a utopian novel,75,000 words in length, set in mid-twenty-first century Missouri. The plot follows the coming of age of an orphan, Del, during an environmental apocalypse. With the world in decay, Del is determined to control what he can in his life. However, the town in which he lives is starving and without medicine. The people are unable to move elsewhere under a law prohibiting migration. And Del is infatuated with his brother's lover, Rachel. Additionally, Del comes to discover that he changes into animal forms during his dreams, a legacy from his Indian father. It is not until Del has taken complete control of his shape shifting abilities that he is able to win Rachel, and provide leadership to the surviving citizens of the town to help carry them into the future.



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