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Union Square: A novel, and, Continence: Poems

Adrian Elizabeth Koesters, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The novel, Union Square, treats five characters living in the Union Square neighborhood of southwest Baltimore in April of 1952, exploring themes of race, violence, fidelity and connection, written from the point of view of a close third-person omniscient narrator. Over the course of the novel, of which here are presented Parts I and II, an Irish immigrant boxer, Paddy Dolan, and a young biracial woman, Carmen Stuncheon, meet and affects the lives of two younger local white characters, whose relationship to each other serves in part as a coming-of-age narrative, and in part as a mirror of the beginning of the decades-long decay that would be at the center of Baltimore's future. The square itself serves as a character in the novel that foreshadows this future, as does the eventual downfall of the Paddy Dolan character. ^ Continence is a book-length volume of poems that explores human relationships and the fracturing of those relationships, as well as the relation of the human to the natural world and the divine. Many of the poems are meant to suggest that incontinence may be a state natural to humanity, and that a movement toward continence, which may be taken as a synonym for fidelity (however that is imagined in the poems), moves the human from survival to salvation.^

Subject Area

Literature, American

Recommended Citation

Koesters, Adrian Elizabeth, "Union Square: A novel, and, Continence: Poems" (2012). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3504105.