Date of Award


Document Type

USM Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Sarah Braunstein

Second Advisor

David Anthony Durham

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


Nature and Other Mothers is a collection of short stories interested in the emotion found in the mundane – the feelings we experience at our roots, all we want to keep hidden below the surface. How much is innate in us? How much do we bring onto and into ourselves? These stories do not attempt to answer these questions, only to consider them through the experiences of characters who struggle to face and make peace with their secret selves. Though always in the pursuit of subtlety, these stories try to reach inside their reader to pull up deep emotions, especially those we don’t always wish to acknowledge.