Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2022

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

School

Humanities

Committee Chair

Dr. Joshua Bernstein

Committee Chair School

Humanities

Committee Member 2

Dr. Olivia Clare Friedman

Committee Member 2 School

Humanities

Committee Member 3

Dr. Leah Parker

Committee Member 3 School

Humanities

Abstract

Celestial Bodies and Other Stories is a collection of short stories woven together by themes of identity and its exploration. The first four stories in the collection include forays into personal identity, including gender, sexual orientation, and neurodivergence. “Changeling” recounts the story of El and their twin sister, Riza; their mother has always suspected that one of them is a changeling from Celtic mythology. “Let the Pruning Hooks Remain Themselves” is based in classical mythology, following a gardener as she serves at her goddess’ temple and is subsequently exiled. “Anatomy of a Swan Song” follows two storylines, one taken from Celtic mythology, the other a modern story of a girl with a prophetic vision. “All’s Fair” follows Merry, a café owner and MMA fighter, as she struggles with a psychiatric diagnosis. The last four stories address concerns of identity as part of a larger community, primarily as members of a family and of the American South. “Negative Space” is a woman’s recounting of her sister’s suicide and the part she may have played in it. “Bittersweet” describes the expectations and grief passed from grandmother to mother to daughter. “Shakespeare Sounds Better in a Southern Accent” is a reflection on the American Southern accent and my relationship to it, as well as a recounting of my family history. “Celestial Bodies,” the final story in the collection, is a retelling of the Artemis and Apollo myth, set in the modern American South.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 12, 2122

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