Foster, Tanya Dawn
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Bounty is a collection of short stories that explores the lives of characters who have spent a significant portion of their lives in the fictional small town Bounty. The stories consider how small-town ideologies impede personal growth and impose a rigid social code onto its citizens. The accompanying introduction to the manuscript outlines the ways in which I have been influenced by four short story writers—Sherwood Anderson, Anton Chekhov, James Joyce, and Alice Munro. I offer brief criticism of their work, identifying features of their craft that have shaped my own collection: Anderson’s “Grotesques,” referring to those types of people who live in the small town; Chekhov’s psychological insights into character and his lyrical prose; Joyce’s depiction of Dublin whose traditions overshadow progression and free thought; and Munro’s conception of the short story as a house. Furthermore, the introduction explores short story theory, by such scholars as Charles E. May, Michael Trussler, and Nadine Gordimer. In particular, the introduction expounds on Frank O’Connor’s thesis which proposes that human alienation dominates the short story and on Susan Lohafer’s thesis that homecoming and home-leaving create the dominant rhythm of the short story. Short story theory and the poetics of the fiction writers mentioned above provide the theoretical framework for this thesis.