The Surviving Parties
This thesis is a collection of short stories that were written and re-written between my time as an undergraduate at Columbia College and my time as a Graduate Student at UMKC. These stories were picked out from many fictional works because they each present a youthful perspective through a unique lens. These stories are meant to offer different points of view from protagonists who are all on their way somewhere, for better or worse. The goal of this thesis was to take these budding protagonists and bundle them together into some sort of cohesive unit. The characters in these stories all struggle with family members, substances and authority figures who offer which gives them each an individualized take on the world around them. There is a sense of suburban dread that inhabits a lot of the peace, and I several of these characters want nothing more than to break out of their current setting. What ultimately unites these characters though, none of whom will ever meet one another, is their struggle to exist in places where they are told they cannot exist. This collection is about fitting into a world that doesn’t want you, and how no one’s past can dictate anyone else’s future.
Table of Contents
Critical introduction -- Defcon Five -- Pogo -- The Harpy and The Shrew -- Ten Sleep -- Mal Content and the Birds at No-Name Lake -- Evening Eyes -- The Ice Cream King -- Sylvia -- Free Lunch -- Black Buffalo