Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Theresa Lloyd

Committee Members

Thomas Alan Holmes, Michael Cody


In Fred Chappell’s Kirkman tetralogy, narrator Jess Kirkman synthesizes a multiplicity of perspectives for understanding the nature of truth. Blurring the distinction between art and life, Jess's narrative structure mirrors the imaginative reconstruction of experience; the novels are largely non-chronological emotive interactions with and reflections of his most salient memories and imaginings. Synthesizing an impressive cacophony of voices, Jess's stories both describe and apply the wisdom and tales Jess acquires from and with his family members. Each story informs the prior and the next, and the rhizomatic interaction between language, narrative, and reader explores Jess's numerous identities and understandings as narratives venture through space, time, and imagination.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright 2015 by Alex Blumenstock