Nincompoop explores the difficulty, and even the impossibility, of change in a world driven by systems of class and power beyond our individual control. The collection presents a diverse group of characters who are desperate to find a turning point in their lives that seem hardened against change. "Darla" tells the story of a young girl who is reliant on her abusive, alcoholic father but escapes into a fantasy life without him, while "Crepes with Frog" follows a man who may lose everything he loves due to the sins of his long-dead relatives. "Your High School Education in Drug Use" examines the cyclical nature of addiction, the way a narrator trying desperately to outrun his demons can find himself right back where he started. In "Sunshine Away," a narrator blames himself for the disappearance of a childhood friend—a friend who had the odds stacked against him from birth. Overall, the collection asks readers to consider how "choices" are often a lie we tell ourselves, and to see both the beauty and the futility in our desire to right the wrongs that surround us.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Smithson, David, "Nincompoop: Stories" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 458.