Fiction, collection, short stories, compostie novel


A Clutch, A Pride, A Murder is a linked collection of seven short fiction pieces and one novella that examine a world much like our own, but with the cover revealed—a world laid bare, exposed by its desires, its emotions, its beauties, and all its machinations. All of the stories involve, either directly or indirectly, the fictional Ohio city of Milton. Some of the stories take place within this seemingly typical American city, while others only involve characters coming from or in some cases returning to this unassuming location. Regardless, the events of these stories either in cause or effect all have their roots in Milton. The world at large also plays a part within these pages. While the stories themselves are completely fictitious, many of the peripheral events that happen beyond the principle storylines are pulled from today’s real-world headlines: a series of increasingly devastating tornadoes in the American heartland; a mysterious suicide of a wealthy industrialist; the amazing technological feats of a nation’s space program; the heinous crimes of a serial kidnapper. These events, each a worthy story in their own right, filter into the events of this collection, much as they do in our world—through the media. Television, radio, newspapers, social media all are outlets of information and current events making the stories of others part of our lives as we all live out our own personal adventures. I utilize these true-life events to add scope and breadth to the world of my fictions so that these events might at times inform and offer new perspective on the principle narratives. And while these true-life stories unfold in the backgrounds of their fictitious hosts, the hope is that the reader will be able to have a better sense of the timeline as the events unfold over the days, months, and years that these stories inhabit. iv Humanity in all its wonder and woe is on full display within this collection. From the journey of idyllic love to tragic romance, and the thin line that turns passion to obsession, we will see all the places theses complex emotions lead: a young botanist travels half-way around the world for a chance to reconnect with a lost love; a young girl’s love for her family pushes her to extremes to protect her brother; a man’s love for his city challenges his morality; the bond between brothers is put to the test; and a young man’s reverence for history, and his love of family leads him down a dark path. How far will someone go to protect themselves? Their loved ones? Or even their way of life? The lengths these characters will go, or in some cases will not go, are central to the stories in this collection. I intend to show those lengths and tell my characters’ all too human stories


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Graduation Date





Rushin, Pat


Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)


College of Arts and Humanities



Degree Program

Creative Writing








Release Date

December 2013

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities