Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Nancy Holder

Second Advisor

Theodora Goss

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


Stories do not appear out of nowhere. Every story is woven from preexisting threads of inspiration: history, mythology, tales that have already been told by another. Each of the four stories in this thesis engages in dialogue with an older narrative: "A Fistful of Letters to Change the World" focuses on the development of the printing press in Western Europe; "Three Feasts" tells the Greek myth of Erysichthon from the perspective of Erysichthon's daughter, Mestra; "Evening Faces" is a modern critique of the patriarchal society portrayed in the 11th-century Japanese novel The Tale of Genji; and "Hoshiko" is inspired by the cat demons of Japanese folklore. These reinterpretations aim to show the malleable nature of storytelling by focusing on different themes than their source material, with particular emphasis on female agency and power.