Document Type



Master of Fine Arts


Creative Writing

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

John Dalton


Mary Troy, M.F.A.

Steve Schreiner, Ph.D., M.F.A.


Force Majeure and Other Stories explores the imperfect way people often make life-altering decisions. Many times, this results from circumstance — an unexpected situation requiring an immediate decision presents itself — but we also often bring the need for such decisions upon ourselves, when our dissatisfaction with the banality of everyday life leads to the desire to pursue an imagined, and many times idealized, alternate reality. This collection of short stories explores the factors that shape our decisions — from inertia to the strength of emotional ties. Each story in this collection follows a character who encounters such a decision and who must navigate not only the immediate repercussions of that decision but also mitigate the long-term consequences. Ultimately, Force Majeure and Other Stories celebrates the messy, chaotic way we move through life because it is precisely this that makes us human.