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The Bible Retold

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A short, fantasy novel using essential characters, themes, and events as depicted in the Bible.

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Date Created
2014-05

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A cut kite

Description

A Cut Kite, a collection of linked stories about a Nepali family haunted by the past, examines the anatomy of troubled hearts. In these lyric tales, characters often seek love, but they end up finding it in the unlikeliest of

A Cut Kite, a collection of linked stories about a Nepali family haunted by the past, examines the anatomy of troubled hearts. In these lyric tales, characters often seek love, but they end up finding it in the unlikeliest of places: in a moth darting toward a candle flame in a dark house, in the middle of a barrage of blows, in the seething currents, ruthless and forgetful.

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Date Created
2014

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Apocryphology: stories & studies

Description

A collection of eight stories set in American landscapes that are distorted, anachronistic or magical. The characters in these stories are hunting monsters, touring strange museums, dating shapeshifters and performing death-defying illusions, but the greatest mysteries they encounter are the

A collection of eight stories set in American landscapes that are distorted, anachronistic or magical. The characters in these stories are hunting monsters, touring strange museums, dating shapeshifters and performing death-defying illusions, but the greatest mysteries they encounter are the most human: obsession, loneliness, loss. As they struggle to distinguish fantasy and reality, they also strive to transform and transcend the things that haunt them.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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In everything I see your hand: stories

Description

In Everything I See Your Hand is a collection of short stories that takes place in the "Little Armenia" neighborhood of East Hollywood, California--an ethnic enclave made up of immigrants from the former Soviet state who came to Los Angeles

In Everything I See Your Hand is a collection of short stories that takes place in the "Little Armenia" neighborhood of East Hollywood, California--an ethnic enclave made up of immigrants from the former Soviet state who came to Los Angeles following the collapse of the USSR in the early '90s. These fictions are rooted in my own personal experience and are about dispossession, domesticity, and the tangled ties between generations, focusing particularly around the tensions that arose from assimilation and disillusionment, from changing attitudes towards sex and homosexuality, violence and masculinity. Many of the stories grapple with the idea of self-exile, or ruminate on the difference between leaving the motherland, and leaving the mother, or other familial bodies, in order to pursue grander desires: a better life in America, superior education in distant universities, love in marriages with foreigners, etc. The body, therefore, becomes a central motif in the collection, principally the hands and forehead, which are traditionally areas in which the destinies are written for the Armenian people. The Armenian-American protagonists of In Everything I See Your Hand struggle with the belief that their lives are already written, their futures already decided, futures that they can only escape through death or departure--if they can escape them at all.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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Basements and other museums of stillness: stories

Description

Set in the former Yugoslavia, contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Midwest America, the collection of short stories follows the complicated trajectory of war-survivor to refugee and, then, immigrant. These stories---about religious prisoners who are not at all religious, about young,

Set in the former Yugoslavia, contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Midwest America, the collection of short stories follows the complicated trajectory of war-survivor to refugee and, then, immigrant. These stories---about religious prisoners who are not at all religious, about young, philosophizing boys tempting the bullets of snipers, about men retracing their fathers' steps over bridges that no longer exist---grapple with memory, imagination, and the nature of art, and explore the notion of writer as witness.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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American, incendiary

Description

The American culture of capitalism and consumerism is predicated upon the idea that the individuals inside the system are safe. The years since 2001 have seen such finite illusions of isolation and security irrevocably altered and a collective vulnerability rise

The American culture of capitalism and consumerism is predicated upon the idea that the individuals inside the system are safe. The years since 2001 have seen such finite illusions of isolation and security irrevocably altered and a collective vulnerability rise in the vacuum. Today, with the birth of social media and immediate information, terrorism—as a form of reprehensible protest and a desperate act of war—has gained a new fundamental resource: violence can be broadcast around the world the instant it happens. But with this technological upheaval, a new rogue brand of vigilantism has been born online, and is continually gaining strength as the reach of the Internet snakes further into everyday life, hypothetically altering the notion of individual power and America’s sense of justice, all while potentially placing more innocent lives in harm’s way. And still, amid the uncharted and ever violent reality of war, technology, and the Internet, there live people: the scarred and delicate tissue of heart and body, ever healing, deceptively vulnerable, and increasingly alone.

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Created

Date Created
2016

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The fractured self: style, influences, and process

Description

An exploration of the art of writing fiction through the lens of memory, myth, and the fractured psyche, of performance and spectacle: image, projection, and the secret self. The craft of writing is the craft of myth. The very process

An exploration of the art of writing fiction through the lens of memory, myth, and the fractured psyche, of performance and spectacle: image, projection, and the secret self. The craft of writing is the craft of myth. The very process of storytelling relies on collective, personal, and historical myth-making - stories surrounding the body and consciousness, collective and personal memory.

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Created

Date Created
2016

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Worse things

Description

This collection explores the experience of members of the working class, living at the edge of poverty. Under constant financial strain, they exist in a state of uncertainty which breeds anger, anxiety, fear, and resentment. For the children born into

This collection explores the experience of members of the working class, living at the edge of poverty. Under constant financial strain, they exist in a state of uncertainty which breeds anger, anxiety, fear, and resentment. For the children born into these families, options are limited not only by their financial circumstances, but also pre-existing cultural expectations. Characters have a desire to understand their circumstances, their relationships with others, and on a larger scale, the world as they experience it. To avoid falling victim to an emotional fatalism that contributes to externalized violence against the self and others, characters must recognize that they have control in their lives, even if it is limited.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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A way to write: my influences, interests, style, and process

Description

This essay is an exploration of Michael Holladay's interests in style and influence related to his writing and overall writing process. I've chosen a selection of books that both reflect my interests as a writer, books that I've loved and

This essay is an exploration of Michael Holladay's interests in style and influence related to his writing and overall writing process. I've chosen a selection of books that both reflect my interests as a writer, books that I've loved and have informed me in the past which continue to inform and inspire on each re-read (Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins, A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, for example) and also books I hadn't read and needed to in order to challenge myself with writing I haven't been exposed to yet so I can continue to grow (I hadn't, for instance, read Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson or Reasons to Live by Amy Hempel before preparation for this essay.) The fiction I've chosen to discuss strikes a balance between favorites that have formed me up to this point and new work to "fill in the gaps" of books I needed to read. Additionally, I've chosen a selection of books on craft to provide a lens for thinking about writing. Finally, I've also included work in other genres that inform my fiction (Ryan van Meter's creative nonfiction essays, If You Knew Then What I Know Now and Andrew Haigh's film, Weekend.)

I've intentionally chosen work that is diverse in both form and content. I have more linear fiction represented (William Trevor, for example) matched with work that's fragmentary and language focused (Christine Schutt's Nightwork among others) since I'm interested in how linear form and fragmentation can intersect, and I've been experimenting with both during my time in the program. And in terms of content, the majority of the work speaks to my interest in how region, specifically the South, impresses itself on sexuality and gender, specifically queer or decentered sexuality and gender. So I have books with a heavy focus on region (Daddy's by Lindsay Hunter and Girl Trouble by Holly Goddard Jones) and work that explores the complexities of sexuality and identity (Michael Cunningham, Edmund White, Alexander Chee, and I'll mention Haigh's film Weekend again because it's always worth mentioning again.) These works will help synthesize and bring together my interests in style, language, structure, and form, and in content.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016