Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Askold Melnyczuk

Second Advisor

John Fulton

Third Advisor

Joyce Peseroff


This project presents five interrelated short stories. These stories, narrated by and primarily focused on the life of Bart Jones, follow a young man from elementary school to his senior year of college. The final story, "The Substitute and the Racist", begins with Bart sitting in his academic advisor's office. He is just months from graduating, and is meeting this woman for the first time. Bart is anxious; he knows he needs a career, but his visit is primarily motivated because he is reluctantly admitting he cannot be a kid forever. The events of this story and the four that precede it mean to sympathize with Bart for being halfway-in-between childhood and adulthood. The events of Bart's life--from the odd drama of "Burst" to the seriousness of "A Rumble like the Furnace"--are too chaotic for him to magically know what comes next.

Included is a critical essay that examines books on the craft of writing and selected fiction. These works were chosen because of their assistance in the drafting of the five short stories.


Free and open access to this Campus Access Thesis is made available to the UMass Boston community by ScholarWorks at UMass Boston. Those not on campus and those without a UMass Boston campus username and password may gain access to this thesis through resources like Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global or through Interlibrary Loan. If you have a UMass Boston campus username and password and would like to download this work from off-campus, click on the "Off-Campus UMass Boston Users" link above.