Tootsie's regret and other stories

Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Dan Wakefield

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Les Standiford

Third Advisor's Name

Bruce Harvey

Date of Defense



Tootsie's Regret and Other Stories is a collection of fifteen interlinked short stories that explore the relationship between Tootsie Plotnik, an aging Jewish gangster turned- legitimate businessman, and his daughter, Deborah, a middle-aged, recently divorced writer who learns of her father's unsavory past. The stories show how Deborah's divorce colors her perception of her father, while her growing intimacy with the older man forces her to reexamine her assumptions about his past and one's ability to know another human being.

The stories' style was influenced by The Yiddish Policeman's Union, in which Michael Chabon intertwined Yiddish expressions with the hard-boiled style of mystery writing. As with Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie, the stories are told over a series of visits between father and daughter. Though particular to the Jewish-American experience, the stories echo universal themes about facing the aging and loss of one's parents while accepting them as vulnerable, imperfect human beings.



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