Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English

Department

English

First Advisor

Rahman, Imad

Subject Headings

Literature

Abstract

I decided to title this collection First Person Plural after observing that one of the most prominent motifs common among these stories concerns the instability and multiplicity of identity. Horror is one of the traditions that most influences my writing, particularly the claustrophobic psychological horror of writers like Edgar Allen Poe. I mainly deploy the tropes of horror in an effort to destabilize my characters’ inner and outer realities. Another important influence on my writing has been that brand of fiction which exists within the liminal space between horror and realism, such as Dan Chaon’s collection Stay Awake, Bringing Out the Dead by Joe Connelly and Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where is Here?” That’s the realm where some of my stories exist, where the metaphors of horror collapse on themselves and reveal what they’re designed to represent and conceal. As a writer, one of my goals/challenges is to make cliches less cliche, to find new ways of telling familiar stories and invent conventions for telling unfamiliar ones. For each story in this collection, I attempted to identify and employ whichever conventions promised to best help me tell it in an unconventional and hopefully more effective way.

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