Yard Sale Dog

Date of Award

Spring 2020

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

First Advisor

Jaed Coffin

Second Advisor

Ann Williams

Third Advisor

James Rioux


A map made of memories, a mind full of secrets, and a burden beyond his control; and Sam is just seven years old. Raised by his father, Sam has moved and moved and moved again into gradual destitution, until he understands no community, no obligation, no religion or family but his father. At the age of sixteen, after a three-year period of stability, Sam believes he is faced with the choice to either resume a life of vagrancy with his father, thus fulfilling duty that has become bound to his identity or flee to the safety of his mother. He runs and must discover himself in a world larger than just his father.

Yard Sale Dog is a collection of short memoir essays presented, primarily, in chronological order. The essays are an exploration of formative moments from the limited experiential perspective of the narrator. The concern of this thesis is the expression of the experience and the development of character through narrative voice. The structure is intended to accentuate a cyclical narrative arc centered on the theme of maintaining hope through failure and defeat.

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