Date of Award

5-4-2020

Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Josh Russell

Second Advisor

John Holman

Third Advisor

Sheri Joseph

Abstract

HAPPY ARE THEY is a collection of linked short stories that adapts and resets the stories in James Joyce’s Dubliners to late 20th century and early 21th century Detroit. Like those in Joyce’s collection, these stories consider cultural identity in the context of empire, the artist’s relationship to exile, and most of all, place as influence of character. The collection strays from Joyce’s in terms of format. While it sustains Joyce’s vision to include stories that depict a city’s citizens by childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and political strife, HAPPY ARE THEY follows three major characters that reappear throughout these stories, which take place over four decades. They culminate in the final adaptation of “The Dead,” hereby entitled “The Resurrected,” and ultimately allow the reader to consider how the short story’s form and subject matter have evolved over the past century. These stories are not direct translations, but loose adaptations, and in their best forms, take on a storytelling life of their own.

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