fiction, short stories
This collection of short fiction probes the lives of characters trying to make their home in the flat, unchanging landscape of the small towns that make up central Florida. The largely static environment reflects the rigid patterns of behavior and domesticity the characters find themselves so easily falling into. Seemingly ordinary items-a shotgun, a t-shirt, a paper bag-and the small moments that make up everyday life are imbued with significance as men and women painfully aware of their own ordinariness struggle to hold onto those fragile instances of connection, happiness, or even their own self-constructed sense of identity. The struggle becomes one of opposing forces: as characters yearn to connect to the people, places, and objects around them, they find themselves more and more attracted to the idea of escaping their own lives, even if for just a moment. Stories range from two pages to over twenty and introduce the reader to a diverse population of characters, from an out of work construction worker cum wannabe philosopher to an amateur historian writing a history nobody cares about to the one man who actually did escape-a cockfight organizer who made it big in Georgia before blowing himself up at a gas station. Characters fight over toothbrushes, puzzle out whether a father is just drunk or beautiful, and look for space stations they may or may not be able to see at all. As in life, in these stories, it's the small, quiet moments that come to define who these people are and demonstrate their pursuit of something bigger and more important, even if they don't have any idea what that may be.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Bryan, Matthew, "The Whole Headlight-colored Night" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4070.