Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Olivia Clare Friedman

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Joshua Bernstein

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Luis Iglesias

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Charles Sumner

Committee Member 4 School



SOFT GOODBYES THROUGH BROKEN VEILS meshes taboo content with innovative form in a series of linked stories that explores what it means to be a queer artist from the working-class South. As such, it calls to mind the speculative queerness of Carmen Maria Machado’s My Body and Other Parties, the formal innovation of Kim Fu’s Lesser-Known Monsters of the Twenty-First Century, and the raw sexual authenticity of Bryan Washington’s Lot. In the West Texas desert, a young, gay artist navigates relationships while creating art that comes to life through a tear in the veil that separates the living from the dead. What the artist creates becomes real in linked short stories, including those of a lesbian combat veteran dependent on her emotional support chupacabra in the Tennessee countryside, a nonbinary Georgia teen navigating the criminal justice system, and a polyamorous woman coming to terms with her mermaid ancestry on the banks of the river where she grew up.

Available for download on Saturday, May 01, 2173

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