Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English/Creative Writing

First Advisor

John Fulton

Second Advisor

Askold Melnyczuk

Third Advisor

Mike Young


The Pure Products of America is a story collection based in Omaha, Nebraska, that primarily deals with issues of PTSD, familial relationships, and what it means to be Korean-American in Omaha.

The stories cover various points of view as well as modes of storytelling. Three of the pieces are slants on monologues, while the remaining three are told in a more traditional narrative form. One of the stories is told in the second person, one in the first person plural, and another in an omniscient third-person point of view.

Linguistically, the stories take inspiration from the work of Barry Hannah in that they deal with a curt, elliptical language that's a direct reflection of Omaha in the same way Hannah's work is a direct reflection of Alabama and Mississippi. Equally, the stories take aesthetic cues from the work of David Foster Wallace in that some of the monologue forms play with an essayistic tonal quality that veer toward a search for meaning.

Content-wise, it was important for The Pure Products of America to deal directly with issues that affect who I am, today, in 2011. How does one deal with close friends who've come back from Afghanistan and are grappling with PTSD? How did growing up a second-generation son of immigrants help form me? How did living in Omaha, a cultural hub of back broke, self-starters inspire me?

This thesis is the beginning of a long, hard deep-digging drive toward self-reflection that I feel writing should engender.


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.