Title

BULLSHIT ARTIST: STORIES

Year of Publication

2021

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department/School/Program

English

First Advisor

Ms. Hannah Pittard

Abstract

Those most exalted sources of pride in the Appalachian Mountains—isolation, folk music, art, and medicine, communal ritual, and the inconceivable age of the valleys and smoothed-over hills—carry with them and can themselves become great sources of shame and anguish for those who live there. I have found it in the ways men carry themselves—in my great uncle’s silence about his success as a dancer, in the voices of men I work with bragging about their ability to suffer addiction. There is an ongoing grief in that place that beckons everyone to return and hounds them when they do so.

My writing has always investigated this tension, and I have found myself particularly drawn to the ways people communicate about their pride and their shame—what they hide and what they repeat. They are storytellers and bullshitters. And I see that tension hanging over each of these stories and over all my writing.

Funding Information

Betty Combs Owen Scholarship

2020

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