Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2020

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Gregory Howard

Second Committee Member

Hollie Adams

Third Committee Member

Laura Cowan

Additional Committee Members

Naomi Jacobs


Meeting with Friends might be a novel like any other: a translation of experience into words, little scenes pasted together from life that are rife with visible cracks, gaps, and overlaps. It is the kind of book that at some point wanted to be more—that you can tell has tried at some point to break free from its bounds; and it’s true, even this author never had much faith in its ability to keep itself together. Mysteriously, upon no will or strength but its own, it managed through all the uncertainty and doubt and wonton experimentation of everyday living to not let itself be torn apart, to hold together just enough to end up as the little novel before you now. There are a few things we can still say about this book for sure. It is interested in the young person named Olivia, and follows her across Portland, Maine. It is pulled forward by her anxious, exciting, horrible sense of what might be next, what one’s near future might hold. And it wants to tell you that everything is going to be fine, though there will always be people who rightly feel that this is not true.