Title

Yardbirds

Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

English

Program

Creative Writing

First Advisor/Chairperson

Matthew Frank

Second Advisor

Lesley Larkin

Third Advisor

Jon Billman

Abstract

Novel-length fictions, when at their best, deeply complicate themes, characters, events or situations using the form’s lengthy narrative arc. Yardbirds aims to employ the long narrative arc to engage a fictional west Arkansas mountain community, Ink, and the contemporary post-mill economy evoked. Yardbirds attempts to disorient the traditional notion of point-of-view to recognize the multifaceted power of the land. This work features a multi-racial, bilingual and multicultural community which confronts the longstanding black-white binary that has dominated literary depictions of the American South. This work aims to disrupt that notion—the South as monolith—by presenting bioregional communities as central to individuals’ cultural and economic lives. Yardbirds engages death and deterioration—themes abundantly apparent in Arkansas communities—through a cyclical mindset: what is here today, I hope to show, is only a condition for tomorrow’s many choices. By recognizing the inherit agency of all forms, the characters in this novel are able to progress to a more-just, inevitable end.

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