Title

Sugar Skulls

Date of Award

5-26-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Sheri Joseph - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. John Holman - Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas McHaney

Abstract

This dissertation is a collection of four long short stories about contemporary Americans written in the mode of psychological realism. “Bare Knuckles” depicts the struggles of a young man trying to “make it” in the world of illegal boxing. “ZOSO” focuses on the breakdown of an upper-middleclass family forced to move from the rustbelt to the “New South.” In “Dusted,” a man ill-equipped to navigate through the adult world turns to substance abuse and violence as a “way out.” “Sugar Skulls” explores the fascination with death in the punk rock world.

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