Document Type



Master of Fine Arts


Creative Writing

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Mary Troy


Mary Troy

John Dalton

Steven Schreiner


Abstract An abstract of the thesis of Matthew Bell for the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Thesis defense date: 16 November 2010. Title: Where You Know Gerry the Most. Five stories of modern day Missourians trying to make sense of their circumstances, searching to make meaningful connections in a harsh and uncertain world. Some of the experiences of these characters--the failure of a marriage, the disappearance of a friend, the self-sabotage of an addict--lead to different kinds of despair and isolation, but there are also more hopeful, more tender moments: a lonely young woman discovering companionship in a surprising place, a group of young graduates bombarded with disappointment in the post-college world finding comfort in the friendships of one another. These five stories explore the ways we struggle and cope with the daunting immensity of modern life.