Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Krab, Emma. Stories of Small Dead Places. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska - Lincoln. 2023.


Copyright Emma Krab 2023.


Stories of Small Dead Places is a full-length collection of short fiction set in rural America, connected by themes of family, isolation, gender, independence, and perseverance. Over the course of seven stories, I approach the rural experience from multiple vantage points, from an old man to a young husband to a teenage girl, in stories that take place across centuries, exploring the deeper existential questions of how rural life shapes and molds the people within it. Furthermore, these stories are made distinct using a variety of craft decisions, including tone, atmosphere, and point of view, all which impact the narratives in different ways and strengthen the emotional and intellectual effect on the reader.

To prepare for the creative project, I also read an extensive body of literature, including several renowned novels and multiple collections of short stories, most of which focus on a particular place or homeland. To this end, I have crafted my required written rationale in the form of an author’s note, which describes the impact of this literature and additional research into the project's most significant, noteworthy themes.