Date of Award

Summer 8-19-2022

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Hollie Adams

Second Committee Member

Laura Cowan

Third Committee Member

Gregory Howard


Inspired by the narrative tradition of the novel-in-one-day, Trip the Light Fantastic follows three central characters (Scott, Archie, and Dana) over the course of one night in the university town of Iowa City, Iowa as they experience night life, missed connections, rekindled attraction, and questions of belonging to people and places. Due to its abbreviated time-frame, the novel intends to act as a snapshot into these characters’ lives, considering how the small hours spent together are carried forward beyond their standard duration, how one night can be both seemingly mundane but life-affirming and life-changing simultaneously. While the narrative tradition the novel draws from is most commonly seated in the realm of realism or the contemporary, Trip the Light Fantastic utilizes the genre of magical realism to explore ideas of perception, identity, and time, manifestations of literary concepts such as Queer Temporality and space-and-place theory. In particular, the novel intends to ask how individuals perceive time differently, with those perceptions manifested as magical elements: how does time expand and or contract when we connect with someone and don’t want our time together to end? Is our ability to remember a form of time travel? How do reflections and projections of different versions of ourselves distort our sense of self?