Master of Fine Arts
Date of Defense
This thesis is a collection of two short stories and three chapters from my novel, Shore Walkers. The short stories, “Lights Against Your Back” and “Thunder and Dust” are a part of a larger collection I have been working on. Each story is based on a different being or place from Gulliver’s Travels. Though the stories can be read separately, there are characters and settings which eventually link all the works in the collection. The stories follow characters in different places and time in the United States. “Thunder and Dust” centers around the dismantling of the Hearst Castle in the early 1950s and some of the lingering political strain from World War II. “Lights Against Your Back”, though, focuses more on personal connections between a family in 1990s Maine, struggling after a difficult event. Shore Walkers is a speculative fiction/fantasy novel that explores the connection between sirens and sea witches. The book focuses on a shore walker (a sea witch), Dot, as she goes on a cross-country journey to find the answers to her past. It also focuses on Lucy, a siren, whose life and morals lead her to fall out of favor with her peers and eventually connect to Dot’s backstory. Many of the themes connecting these works were those of family, acceptance, outsiders, femininity, memory, control, and travel.
Strawhun, Shannon, "What the Water Brought Me: A Composite of Two Short Stories and a Novel Portion" (2019). Theses. 428.