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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
icky, boy, short story, fiction, hyperrealism, Maine
MICHAEL SCHOCH, B.A., BARD COLLEGE
MFA, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST
Directed by: Professor Sabina Murray
Icky Boy is a work of fiction, particularly a collection of short stories. Every story is set in a semi-fictional region of Southern Maine, most of them in the fictional town of Mousam.
The collection begins with “Icky Boy,” the story of a shy, insecure young man who falls in love with a woman, Peg, he meets at the grocery store. Their relationship is complicated by the arrival of an unorthodox motivational speaker and by a freak accident that critically affects Peg.
The second story, “Cardiac Fridays”, is about a retired professional wrestler, “Big” John Childs who tries to find excitement and purpose in his life (by helping out at a clinic that induces heart attacks in people looking for thrills) after retiring from his job and becoming estranged from his wife and son.
“Bone Breaker” tells the story of a debt collector who is experiencing a mid-life crisis. In the process of pursuing a debtor he begins to have a change of heart and reevaluate his life.
“Gravy Work” follows a young couple, Cheryl and Thurman, who experience relationship difficulties as a result of their different ambitions. They attempt to reconcile their personalities while also trying to move to a different city and coping with Thurman’s addiction to a new TV program.
“Donor” is about half brothers, Arthur and Kevin, who don’t get along (due to Kevin’s rage disorder) and who haven’t found their niche in high school. The two boys begin contacting their respective sperm donors for insights into their past and their future potential.
“Win-Win” is about a man’s return to his hometown to help bury an ex lover’s dead ex boyfriend. In his attempt to reconcile with his ex, the narrator reveals himself to be more conflicted and insecure than he previously thought.
“Particular Human” is about two men who get a flat tire while driving and so stop at a late night fast food shop managed by a unique and uniquely sad individual.
“Chassis” follows the tribulations of a small family as they cope with the matriarch’s failing health.