Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Committee Member

Maile Chapman

Second Committee Member

Richard Wiley

Third Committee Member

Douglas Unger

Fourth Committee Member

Patrick Clark

Number of Pages



The stories in this collection revolve around a central theme which is expressed by my titleTiny Animals Made To Do Unnatural Things. All my characters feel guilt about decisions and experiences that haunt their past. In the present, they have come to a crossroads and are trying to decipher between what they were made to do as in vocation and evolution and what they are being made to do by the authorial pressures that loom over them (e.g. bosses, parents, loan officers, prison guards.)

In this way, my thesis pivots on the word made. Made (or to make) has many definitions: to bring into being, acquire earn, execute force. In this collection, I'm considering all of them in many contexts, but mainly in the context of female sexuality and child rearing.

All of my stories are intended to be dark comedies. I'm the girl at the grocery store buying 99% cocoa. In my opinion, the darker the better. The following stories have been influenced by writers who dabble in this same creative space: George Saunders,Gary Shteyngart, Amy Hemple, Karen Russell, Denis Johnson, Amy Gerstler, David Sedaris, Jeffrey Eugenides, among many others.


Short stories


American Literature | Creative Writing | Fiction | Literature in English, North America