Reader participation in the composite novel

A comparative analysis of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and Pam Houston’s Waltzing the Cat. From: Vermillion, M. K. (2003). Reader participation in the composite novel: Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and Pam Houston’s Waltzing the Cat (Texas Tech University). Link: The Things They Carried entry at Note: This thesis contains […]

Open destinies : modern American women and the short story cycle

This thesis examines the juncture between the short story cycle form and gender politics. It explores how twentieth-century women from the United States have been using the form to represent and question gender identity. The introduction outlines commentaries on the story cycle and considers definitions of the form. It includes case studies of earlier twentieth-century […]

One Story, Many Voices: Problems of Unity in the Short-Story Cycle

Tracing the genre from its nineteenth-century antecedents to its present-day incarnations, my dissertation argues that the rise of the short-story cycle constitutes one of the most influential and generative developments in US literary history. Although usually divided among disparate genres and periods, short-story cycles by Caroline Matilda Kirkland, Sarah Orne Jewett, and other so-called regionalists, […]

Still Life with Guns

This creative work follows a long tradition of cross-genre writing in contemporary American literature. It is not an autobiography, the story of a life. Instead, it is a memoir, a story from a life. Specifically, it is the story of a new father’s struggle to understand his vexing relationship with his own father so that […]

Wayward Girls

Wayward Girls represents a culmination of my creative and critical work at the University of North Dakota. The dissertation includes a critical introduction, a collection of short stories, and a pedagogical article. In my critical introduction, I explain ways in which I manipulate narrative and time, the decisions I make about levels of discourse, my […]

On Smith Street and short stories in the Digi-social world

The notion that digital publishing has altered the way we read is one that is being increasingly studied. Less attention has been paid to whether digital publishing has changed the way writers write. As a short story writer I am most interested in this form and whether it is being impacted by the digitisation of […]


While the story cycle form has been popular for centuries, as seen in works like The Decameron and One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, it is especially important to modern Anglo-American literature. Twentieth century short story composites by James Joyce, Sherwood Anderson, and Ernest Hemingway represent high points not simply for the genre, but also […]

Cult: A Composite Novel

The first component of the thesis is a composite novel called Cult which falls into two parts with seven narratives in each. Part 1 tracks the protagonist, Ellen, from her first involvement with the cult through to her eventually leaving it. Although fiction,the first half of the book answers the kinds of questions the author […]