Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Ruth Ellen Kocher

Second Advisor

Stephen Graham Jones

Third Advisor

Elisabeth Sheffield


The focus of Natural Domesticated Disasters is on the fractured and broken in the domestic realm, specifically upon the gulf between the domestic and the domesticated, the power of the American home to ensnare and enslave.

The stories in this collection seek to walk in stride with the middle-aged woman, she who does not get paid enough to give a damn about the air quality around your asthmatic brat of a child, she who devours cigarettes on her retail job break and hovers waiting in the mini-van outside the elementary playground. My objective is for the reader of this manuscript to leave with an urge to hide the kitchen knives, or lock the door, or play loud music to bury their thoughts. I want this collection to feel familiar enough that it tastes slightly sickening, like the soft spots of an over-ripe peach, yet I want the reader to eat those peaches down to the pits.

I believe the best prose is composed of lines you can't ignore. My favorite authors -- Donald Ray Pollock, Etgar Keret, David Sedaris, Chuck Palahniuk -- have a talent for making their readers itch with a hypnotic manipulation of words. This collection, as a whole, seeks to do the same, to perform those delicate acts that live between schadenfreude and pity.