English Language and Literature ETDs



Publication Date

Summer 7-1-2022


The lines between fact and fiction, real and surreal blur in this collection of magical realist tales. A young woman, coerced into hunting mysterious creatures in the forest, discovers that her worldview is marred by prejudice in “The Woods,” only to lose the family and support network on which she has relied for her entire life. The nature of storytelling itself is examined in “Violet,” in which a pregnant teenager has to make difficult decisions for her baby, informed by the complex and restrictive geopolitical systems in which we live. Meanwhile, the teen protagonist in “Redbud” struggles against the tyranny of the beauty industry in her small-town dystopia. “Starseed” examines the impact of Otherizing, while “The Soap Factory” takes on issues of consent and gendered violence. “The Garden” and “The Hive” follow this through line into an increasingly alienating and isolating postindustrial world. Each of these stories asks readers, What does it mean to be an outsider? Fortunately, it turns out you can see a lot from the outside looking in.

Degree Name

MFA Creative Writing

Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Andrew Bourelle

Second Committee Member

Scarlett Higgins

Third Committee Member

Adam Lifshey

Fourth Committee Member

Gregory Martin

Fifth Committee Member

Daniel Mueller




magical realism, fiction, Southwest

Document Type


Available for download on Thursday, July 31, 2121