Title

After You

Date of Award

Winter 2014

Project Type

Thesis

Program or Major

Writing

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

First Advisor

Ann J Williams

Second Advisor

Janet Scofield

Third Advisor

Leah D Williams

Abstract

The Southern landscape is one that I find often mirrors the incongruous parts of Southern identity. It is mesmerizingly beautiful but is not without its equally consuming ugliness--often rooted in a terrible loss. There is honesty present but not without impurity, and often Southerners don't want to face either. Instead, they become stubbornly rebellious or suppressed, thus deeply rooted but also dislocated by their own mythologies. The South is complicated--always.

I am inspired by contrasting elements. Humor and sadness. The instinct to cling to someone else and pave your own identity. Wanting to release from grief but find comfort in its lulling, looping rut. My characters seem to want two things at once and are never sure why this polarity has led them to such hardship.

In a way, this is a collection of love stories to this paradox.

Primarily set in Charleston, SC, about Southern, heartbroken women, these stories attempt to reconcile how following after someone or something has led to these characters' current state of despair. They are often faced with an ending, the ending of a relationship or death. In struggling to cope, stuck in their own self-imposed, grief-stricken mythologies, they wonder and struggle to discover how they will emerge from their desolate circumstances--though, not without humor or the beauty of their landscape.

Available for download on Saturday, December 01, 2114

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