Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
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rural communities, grief, deli, homsexuality
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BACK TO BLUEFIELD is a collection of ten short stories set in the fictional small town of Bluefield, Ohio. Like “Dance of the Happy Shades” by Alice Munro, BACK TO BLUEFIELD highlights patriarchal limitations women often face in rural communities. In “This Little Light of Mine,” a teenage girl attempts to escape the sexual abuse inflicted on her by her father, while in “Praise Camp,” a youth pastor counsels a teenager to repress homosexual feelings, yet cannot bury her own unrequited love for her female best friend. In the spirit of Hemingway’s “The End of Something,” each story contain a high, clear note of grief. In “Lottie’s Winter,” a widow pushes away a new chance at love because of her lasting grief over her husband’s death. Disoriented by profound loss, and limited by Bluefield’s cultural expectations and economic struggles, each character confronts staggering gaps between their realities and their desires.
Slebodnik, Mary F., "Back to Bluefield" (2017). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3269.
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