Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Richard Wiley

Number of Pages



Birds in Paradise is a novel telling the story of a teenage girl in Idaho who is seduced into leaving her troubled home life with her parents to live with a passionate and charismatic religious zealot in his house on the banks of the Snake River. The main character, Janice Evans, has recently moved to the small town of Meade, Idaho, in the wake of an event in her family---her father has had an affair and has left his university teaching position to start over in this conservative, rural town. Her parents' marriage continues on, full of turmoil and anger, and in the midst of this, Janice meets Dan, a twenty-five-year old man who has taken up residence in an abandoned old house. Dan, and two other people, George and Amber, live in this house near the river and survive by growing their own food and by running a meth lab. Dan continues to pursue Janice and one day, she gets in his truck and goes with him to his house, telling no one where she has gone. She finds herself enmeshed in her new life and stays with Dan, participating in the primitive religious rituals he has instituted, and becomes his wife, in a ceremony performed by Dan himself. When a new young woman, Zinnie, arrives at the house, through a series of strange circumstances, Janice has to face the fact that Dan is becoming interested in her, and must choose whether to continue on there, in her life with him, and his new second wife, or whether to go back home, to the difficulties of life with her parents.


Birds; Birds In Paradise; Novel; Original writing; Paradise

Controlled Subject

American literature; Literature, Modern

File Format


File Size

6481.92 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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