Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




David Kress

Second Committee Member

Alexander Irvine

Third Committee Member

Ken Norris


This thesis is a creative novella written as an exploration of the composition of the family in American culture and how that composition alters when one of its components is removed from the equation. The Larue family is a fairly typical New England family residing in Lewiston, Maine—the parents, Patrick and Chantal, have been aware of the impending separation from their children Jordan and Mathieu ever since the children initially went off to college. Now, as college graduate Jordan prepares to depart for Japan and the promise of a new career, the family members he leaves behind will have to adjust to the missing piece from their family puzzle. In many ways, this piece is a flip-side to traditional narrative and story-telling practice. Instead of situating with any particular character, the third-person perspective of the story shifts between Patrick, Chantal, and Mathieu as they adjust their everyday existence in the wake of their son and brother's new opportunity. Further, while the removal of Jordan is a major focal point of this family's story, the actual text of the piece is unconcerned with his move to another culture and another way of life. Instead, the story remains with those who are left behind, those whose events and instances don't change on a daily basis but whose lives are indelibly affected nonetheless.