Date of Award


Document Type

USM Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Robert Levy

Second Advisor

David Anthony Durham

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


This creative thesis, submitted as a requirement for my Master of Fine Arts degree in writing, is titled Bitterroot "Part One: Dream-Ache." The story takes place in the early 1950s and revolves around Pru Cava, a young woman who works at the front counter of her family's butcher shop and dreams of escaping Rook, the small Montana town where she and her family reside. In the middle of a harsh winter, the Cava family's livelihood is put in jeopardy when a competing supermarket opens nearby. Pru proves there is nothing she wouldn't do to save her family when she accepts help from a secretive stranger, but in doing so, she sets into motion a series of events that could ruin the family for good.


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