Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Number of Pages
The following novella is a collection of flash fiction-length stories, connected by the voice of a single female narrator and expressed in vignette-style. The novella is divided into three parts, each consecutive section loosely following the narrator’s growth in age and maturity over a time-span of approximately fifteen years. Set in a fictionalized struggling rust-belt city, every aspect of daily life—from the ordinary comings and goings of neighbors and friends, constantly led elsewhere by opportunities outside of the city; to the dramatic shifts in weather patterns, seasons mirroring life cycles; to the influences of renewed religions juxtaposed with old abandoned physical structures from past eras; to the general realities and inherent dangers found in plainly existing as a female within the confines of an elusive rape culture—affects the narrator as she navigates first through childhood, plagued by her young mother’s tragedies, then as she struggles to recognize her own sexual identity in her young adulthood, without the guidance of her mother who is also filtering her own complicated experiences to identify herself.
childhood; feminine; landscape; rape culture; rust-belt; sexual identity
Ernst, Regina M., "How to Keep the Girls Inside" (2015). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 2533.