The Pines and Other Stories

Date of Award


Document Type

Bibliographic Record

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Cara Hoffman

Second Advisor

JJ Amaworo Wilson

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


The Pines and Other Stories consists of the first section of a novel and two short stories. In all three texts, the author seeks to illuminate the beauty of the mundane. In The Pines, this is accomplished with the aid of the setting, an assisted-living facility where residents help care for a seven-year-old child named Crow who is living there with their disabled mother. Crow finds comfort in the organization and unhurried pace of The Pines: dinner at five, Bingo on Wednesdays, monthly movie nights. This predictable structure helps Crow cope with the unpredictability of their alcoholic mother.

“The Sound of Letting Go” follows the last day in the life of Margaret Grace. She tends her garden, eats lunch with a neighbor, fixes the wobbly leg of the end table in the parlor. Throughout the day, as is her wont, she carries a note about a lost love, which imbues the story with a quiet longing.

“Poor Little Shrew-Moles” is based on Raymond Carver’s story “Tell the Women We’re Going.” Its focus is two recent high school graduates who are facing their future as adults. As the girls go on one last adventure together, two men follow and threaten them, but the girls are strong and smart and will not allow their futures to be stolen from them.


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