Shouting Distance

Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Hannah Pittard


Shouting Distance is a collection of ten short stories written by Gary Thomas Smith. Most of the stories take place in Appalachia and rural Kentucky, and the stories set outside of the region still feature characters whose identities are intricately bound to it. The characters' relationships to Appalachia are complex as some embrace the mountains and their culture, while others feel oppressed by that environment. The stories are driven by characters' relationships with family and friends, with their futures and their pasts, or with cultural expectations. The collection explores themes such as poverty, violence, substance abuse, and loss. The natural world is pervasive throughout these stories, and many of them illustrate the effects of human interaction with the environment. While the seeming decline of rural life is at the foreground of this collection, it does not dismiss the beauty of this life. Rather, it suggests that there is promise for the future in spite of loss, hate, and fear.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

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