Pearsall, Sarah E
28 February 2013
SOUTH ROAD, a novel told in third-person limited, follows Adrienne Harris as she navigates the trials of her coming-of-age summer and then must deal with the aftermath. 1997: seventeen-year-old Adrienne Harris wants nothing more than to flee her eccentric grandmother’s rule and leave Harbor Point and never look back. When she meets her new neighbors, Adrienne knows her life will never be the same. Adrienne quickly falls in love with the charismatic Quinn Merritt. They decide to keep their relationship a secret since both families disapprove. This secret starts a chain reaction that seemingly leads to the suicide of the troubled and poetic Lucas Merritt. The summer culminates with Adrienne running away, pregnant and heartbroken. 2011: thirty-one-year-old Adrienne is an out of work line cook and single mother. The story opens as Adrienne reluctantly returns home to Harbor Point to care for her ailing grandmother. Once home, Adrienne has to confront the things that haunt her—the summer she met and lost both Merritt brothers, and also her dysfunctional relationship with her grandmother—in order to heal and repair her own life and her relationship with her daughter. In the end, Adrienne discovers many truths that alter her perception of her past in Harbor Point. Adrienne is finally able to move forward and start to build a life for her and her daughter. Harbor Point, the last place in the world Adrienne Harris wanted to be, turns out to be the only place she wants to call home.
Norris, James C., III
01 April 2019
The teenage daughter of a summer camp slasher, trained to kill sexually active adolescents, questions her father’s work when the camp she’s assigned to terrorize hands out bibles instead of condoms. That’s right, it’s a Christian camp.
01 April 2010
In this collection of short stories, the characters struggle to recover equilibrium in their lives that have been turned upside down. They struggle against one another, against change, and against the loss of loved ones. No matter what bonds hold the characters together, the underlying tension of change and reaction permeates their relationships and threatens what they know to be true. A theme of discontent runs in these stories. Something beneath the surface is not right, and the characters struggle to climb out of the mess their lives have become. Some of them have been stifled, like the narrator in "Resounding Gong, Clanging Cymbal," who’s being pressured on all sides to marry. Some of them are toeing the line of fitting in and being independent, like the teenagers in "Hibiscus Boulevard," who, caught up in the last days of summer, are more concerned with being adults than being kids. In the title story, the teenagers in a small town find a way to memorialize one of their own by performing the act that caused him to die. The cautious bonds between the characters are continuously being worked by one another, by oppressive scenery and location, by the aftereffects of dysfunction, or by unrequited love. No matter what the context or situation, something is always just a little bit off, or wrong, in each story in this collection, and the characters must do their best to correct the situations. / M.F.A. / Department of English / Arts and Humanities / Creative Writing MFA
Grace, Jeremy S
01 January 2015
Expectations clash against reality, as a group of boys grow up in 21st Century suburbia.
Silverstein, Anna Sophia
28 April 2014
This report summarizes the process of developing, writing, directing, and editing SKUNK, a short narrative film. The film was produced as my graduate thesis film in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin in partial fulfillment of a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production. This report contextualizes the making of SKUNK, within my background as a youth worker, interest in community-based narratives, and development as an artist and filmmaker. / text
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Thesis (M.A.)--Eastern Illinois University, 2008.
This thesis comprises two pieces of work – a novel and an accompanying research paper. The novel, Savage Things, is a story of a girl, removed from the home of her vulnerable mother to live with her grandparents for a summer. There, she falls in with various secondary characters: a gang of boys, the college-aged girl who lives upstairs, a housebound neighbour, and her wider family. As these relationships form, the girl feels increasingly conflicted about her own identity and her place in the world. However, the girl’s mother is not finished with her and reappears as the girl begins to find her feet in this new environment, taking her on a final trip that forces them to reconsider their relationship with each other and the world around them. The research paper, ‘She’s Leaving Home’, is an examination of three coming-of-age texts – Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping, Alan Warner’s Morvern Callar, and Eugene McCabe’s Death and Nightingales. The paper analyses all three novels via their relationship to the Bildungsroman as a form and questions the role that space plays in each. My discussion defines space in several ways – as a physical, psychological, and social concept. I argue that space is an essential component to the Bildungsroman in that it provides the context necessary for a protagonist to define herself against and within. It considers the prominent role that land plays and how it corresponds to each text’s political context – from the Depression-era transients of Housekeeping to the bitter land disputes of Death and Nightingales – while also arguing that each context assists in its protagonist’s coming-of-age.
Diamonds in the Rough is a dramatic coming-of-age novel, chronicling the experiences of college student Sofia Dayan. The intricacies of the Forty-Seventh Street diamond exchange are revealed during Sofia's time as an office assistant to a Hassidic diamond dealer, and she slowly discovers that her boss is involved in an illicit transaction concerning her father. Also coping with the symptoms of a newly diagnosed illness, rheumatoid arthritis, she begins a relationship with David Cohen - her father's former friend and business associate. Tensions build as Sofia manages her disease, attempts to strengthen her bond with David, and discovers what her father and boss are conspiring. Like a diamond, all the characters within the story are flawed beneath the surface and, to some degree, are living in illusions. Visual art and music enhance this primary theme; both often depict something beautiful but contain a darker subtext. / by Efrat Friedman. / Thesis (M.F.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2010. / Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2010. Mode of access: World Wide Web. FboU
31 January 2015
"Bistro Girls" is an interconnected collection of short stories focusing on characters whose lives intertwine in the affluent Floridian town of Bellamy Park. In "Bistro Girls of Bellamy Park," a senior at a privileged college struggles to confront an old friend who has slipped into addiction. In "Bobby Blues," two women's stifling situations with live-in boyfriends give way to a small hope as Valerie casts aside her illusions and leaves to find a new apartment, temporarily freeing herself from the pattern of relying on a man. In these stories people wrestle with flawed concepts of personal identity that create outward limitations in their interactions with those they care about most. In "Disconnect," an eccentric millionaire struggles with spirituality and a romance spoiled by his inability to find satisfaction. In "The Coffee Shop," the emotionally removed Don leaves Valerie in the inevitable position to find contentment through self-reliance. Through trial and error, the obstacles of insecurity and disillusionment can at times be overcome. In "Scout's Honor," a young woman marries under the spell of fateful disillusionment, with tragic results. An annulment is the catalyst for her maturity, yet the road before her promises to be a long, painful one. As the characters come closer to acceptance of the imperfections and possibilities in themselves and the world around them, there is almost always some hope, no matter how difficult the means to get there. / M.A. / Department of English / Arts and Sciences / English
Miller, James R.
10 April 2010
These collected stories are a narrative exploration of a collective life in middle‐class suburbia. Here the reader is introduced to a troop of characters who share a community but yet they are adrift in the atmosphere between identity and memory. At times, as in “When to Lie” and “Afraid of the Question” we see conflict arise when the suburban religious dogma alters character identity, leaving behind haunting memories and scar tissue. Memory and identification play an important roll when, as in “Rx” the protagonist is faced with the sudden loss of his family as he struggles to keep their memories alive—without their memory he is no longer a father or a husband. Whether the characters are looking to re‐engage in society after being done wrong, as is the case in “Playing the Game” or coming to terms with sudden loss, afflicting memories play an important role in each narrative.
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