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

Thomas O'Grady


These five short stories are all about people who crash into each other in both physical and emotional ways, always due to circumstances they could not have anticipated. Although each piece relies on a brief and dynamic encounter lasting only a few hours or even a few minutes, they are all shaped by the complexities and histories of characters who are struggling, either before or after their collision. Among them are a young woman who is forced to face a painful memory when her onetime best friend is killed, an unhappily-married man whose wife catches him in a lie and uses it to humiliate him, a teenager who punishes her mother for ignoring her grief over her father's death, a neglected daughter who enters into a relationship with her older, married co-worker, and a distracted driver who kills a pedestrian and is then torn over whether to approach the dead woman's family.


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