Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English/Creative Writing

First Advisor

Fanny Howe

Second Advisor

Askold Melnyczuk

Third Advisor

Joyce Peseroff


THE ALTERNATE LIVES OF CLAIRE MACKENNA, a collection of short fiction, seeks to explore the intricate ways choice and identity shape one another. As a kind of character-driven, literary take on the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books of childhood, these linked short stories explore what central character Claire MacKenna's life would be like had she made different decisions at points in time both momentous and ephemeral. Each tale stands in communication with the others, working to illuminate how different potentialities can exist within one person and within one lifetime. Claire MacKenna is a contemporary young woman, and as such the permutations of her life explored here are not only structured by this exploration of choices but informed by the thematic idea of choice and what it means for being a woman today.

Included in

Fiction Commons