Document Type



Holes Where People Go is a short story collection that explores an inaptitude to properly feel and process grief. Each narrator in the collection begins by avoiding the acknowledgement of their own grief and loss, even while they’re convincing themselves otherwise. When outside forces arise that confront and challenge their emotional stasis, there is a promise–yet never a certainty– that they may change. The titular hole, therefore, is not just a metaphor for the unnamed places lost people occupy in our subconscious, but also the defensive willingness to keep them there. This is where I feel this collection offers something novel: it is hardly about growth and healing from grief, and much more the inability to address it. Yet it does not frame this stagnation as failure. My intention in this collection is to observe the ways in which we often stay in place, without denouncing or trying to fix that tendency. It’s part of human nature to not free oneself from pain– from the unexplored grief, the hole we put people in. And the end of every story has the same promise as every moment in life: that there is an opportunity to start digging oneself out.



Thesis Comittee

Prof. Bruce Machart, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Kathryn Evans, Committee Member
Dr. Ann Brunjes, Committee Member