Creative Writing MFA, Fiction, Non-fiction, nonfiction, thesis, short stories, essays
Potential Energy. (Under the direction of Pat Rushin.) Potential Energy is a collection of sixteen short stories. They range from the fictional to the autofictional to the entirely non-fictional. In all of them, characters both real and imagined struggle to live and define themselves in a world that is outside their control. They cope with the inevitability of loss, dangers both internal and external, and the passing of their own greatness. Some of these characters become lost while others learn to embrace life on its own terms'to accept 'without hope or expectation.' More often, they are not lost or enlightened, but simply survive to continue on, still uncertain. Though all the stories in Potential Energy are stand-alone, they are thematically connected. The themes of family and identity are most prominent in 'Potential Energy' and 'Eulogy to Maria Mamani, Fire-Eater.' Loss is confronted and the question of what comes next is asked in 'Oysters' and 'Slide.' The conflict between fate and the need for control rises to the surface in 'Threshold,' 'The Elizabeth Years,' and the non-fiction story of Charles Whitman's deadly rampage in 1966, 'Seed.' Themes of ambiguity, moral erosion, and literary exploitation appear in the non-fiction 'Bright and Loud and Then Gone,' about a landlord burned alive in Chicago in 2008, and 'What It Might Have Been Like If We Had Been There,' an apologetic for the writer's right to write inspired by the 2007 Al Mutanabbi Street car-bombing in Baghdad, Iraq. Most importantly all the content of Potential Energy tells stories of people trying to hold on to what is good when, tragically, everything must eventually come to an end.
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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)
Bull, Edward, "Potential Energy" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4352.