Title

Dustbowl

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Fine Arts

Major

Creative Writing

Date of Defense

12-23-2010

Graduate Advisor

Mary Troy

Committee

Steven Schreiner

John Dalton

Abstract

Dustbowl is a dystopian novel that follows a young man named Ward as he joins a deadly cult that is intent on leaving the planet. He travels with a cleaning crew—a group of killers—through small towns, abducting children for the cult’s plan to have humankind populate the stars. The novel explores concepts like loneliness, grief, violence, love, and family, among others, as Ward traverses across a dust-filled, shambling American Midwest that is falling apart all around him. He finds solace from the harshness of the world in his crewmates, in a stray dog that he happens upon, in a girl that he tries to save, and eventually in himself.

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