Fiction, short stories
Land of Flowers is a collection of short fiction presenting a Florida that stands in counterpoint to the image the state holds in the national consciousness-an image of a backward region rife with rednecks, retirees, racists, and religious kooks. In contrast, these stories feature the natives, the tourists, the immigrants, and also the transplants who are drawn to this "paradise" with hopes of finding warmth, escape, and a new life that so often fails to materialize. Many of the inhabitants of these stories are mired in a state of introspection. In the title piece, an early Spanish explorer contemplates his existence as well as that of God's. In another story, an actor/bartender considers how eking out a living at a luxurious resort has sapped his passion for the theater. In trying to save a family of doves, a father finds a metaphor for his role as protector and provider for his own family. Another story is about an old man dying in the palmetto brush who discovers comfort in a place far from a society that no longer suits him. Space and place are the threads that holds these stories together: place in regard to the topographical Florida, and space in regard to where the main characters are mentally. The true physical landscape of the territory that once extended as far west as New Orleans is depicted in many of the stories-a landscape shorn of condos, strip malls, and theme parks, a landscape that defines Florida as wild, open, raw, and primal in the best sense of the word. These stories of people, place, and space work against the stereotypes and toward a deeper understanding of Florida.
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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)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Morrison, Michael, "Land of Flowers" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 4838.