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.
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.