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Title

Falling Rock

Document Type

Campus Access

Degree Program

English

Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Year Degree Awarded

2012

Month Degree Awarded

September

Keywords

episodic novel

Abstract

This project is an episodic novel that revolves around the misadventures and exploits of Povi McDougal, head diversity consultant for G & K. She is responsible for the aggressive sensitivity training of new hires in the company’s bid to avoid future lawsuits. She is a nervy, disenfranchised, high-functioning alcoholic. When you think Povi,think binaries: she’s a bighearted misanthrope. She is furious yet wistful, knowing yet obtuse, and so forth. The episodes are all narrated by Povi and are very voice-driven. As a series of connected stories, the action is not in service to one primary plotline. There is, however, a narrative arc that follows Povi’s efforts to come to grips with her personal and ethnic identity, her troubled past and her self-imposed isolation. Central to these stories is a synthetic folklore. As a child, Povi’s father enrolled her in the Indian Princesses youth group at the YMCA in a misguided attempt to help her connect more fully with her Native American heritage. Figuring prominently in the girls’ mythology was the tale of Falling Rock, the highly sought after Indian princess who wanders into the woods to escape the fray of young braves who seek her hand in marriage. “Legend has it that Falling Rock becomes lost and is never heard from again. The group’s participants are told to be on the lookout for her whenever they see a yellow road sign bearing her name. In short, Povi is my Princess Falling Rock. Given her sense of disinheritance, it seems fitting that her folklore is synthetic, invented. Basically, I’ve gotten her to wander off into the woods for a bit of solitude, and I’ve kept her there for a while, as she tries to find her way back to her tribe – or some such suitable substitute for tribal affiliation, community, love, what have you.

First Advisor

Noy Holland

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