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Small things bright and dark: A novella and stories

Wendy E Oleson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

SMALL THINGS BRIGHT AND DARK: A NOVELLA AND STORIES is a collection of sixteen stories—length and nine "flash fiction" pieces, each under 1,000 words—ending with a novella that uses the first-person narration of a former child actor (of horror film fame) to stitch together a variety of media, including, fictionalized Wikipedia entries, emails, press releases, and photographs. The stories and flash fictions predominately feature child and young-adult protagonists, the "small things" referenced in the title. Tonally, the stories are more dark than bright, although the play between light and shadow exists in the work and references the European and American fiction in the Gothic mode that influenced much of the writing. Specific influences include Shirley Jackson's novels featuring socially-disinclined (female) teenaged narrators, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Hangsaman, Julie Orringer's dark collection of stories How to Breathe Underwater, Henry James's unreliable governess and ill-fated children in The Turn of the Screw, and the fin-de-siècle Gothic horror fiction of Arthur Machen, Sheridan Le Fanu, and Robert Louis Stevenson.^

Subject Area

Literature, Comparative|Literature, American

Recommended Citation

Oleson, Wendy E, "Small things bright and dark: A novella and stories" (2014). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3618688.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3618688

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