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

Les Standiford

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Vernon Dickson

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


fiction, short stories, creative writing

Date of Defense



EXISTENTIAL BEBOP is a collection of thirteen short stories that use humor and satire to address some of the absurdities of human existence.

In some stories, characters are forced to come to terms with mortality, such as the six-year-old boy in “A Goldfish Memory,” who learns about death for the first time. In “Cassandra Knows All” a rational twenty-something is lured by a charlatan who convinces her that there is an afterlife. In others, the comedy centers on human frailties, such as “Weekend in Deceit,” where two couples confront infidelity. “The Sacrifice of Mikey Horowitz” explores family values, ancient and modern, through the lens of a bar mitzvah.

Influenced by the work of Woody Allen, Kafka, and Dostoyevsky, the collection uses exaggeration, surreal juxtapositions, and absurd premises to point to the darker side of the human condition and the necessity for a sense of humor to get us through life.



Included in

Fiction Commons



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