English Language and Literature ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 3-31-2017


His family died in a car accident, but the vehicular mayhem of demolition derby still attracts former aircraft mechanic Sid Rivers. Rules of the road change on the track: you must crash. In between county fair derbies, Sid hunts for the hit-and-run driver who killed his family, but everything changes the night he gives a ride to the wrong hitchhiker: Eden, a recovering meth addict on the run. With her in tow, Sid must dodge a crucible of crooked cops, ex-football stars, and a taxidermist who doesn’t limit his work to the animal kingdom. Just before Sid ditches his troublesome new passenger, he learns she may hold the key to his past. But with everyone gunning for them, will he survive long enough to learn who killed his family? And will the answer help mend his life or cause a deeper spiral? After all, crashing cars is easier than putting them back together... West by Midwest, a neo-Western crime thriller, explores regret, guilt, and second chances in a land where war comes second nature and peace must be wrestled to the ground.

Degree Name

MFA Creative Writing

Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Daniel Mueller

Second Committee Member

Julie Shigekuni

Third Committee Member

Stephen Benz

Fourth Committee Member

Kathleen Washburn


Iowa, Midwest, veteran, demolition derby, war, crime

Document Type