AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

Headlands: A Short Story Collection

by Ryan Dennis

Institution: University of Iceland
Year: 2015
Keywords: Bókmenntir, menning og miðlun
Record ID: 1220828
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/20875


The story of the American family dairy farmer is seldom represented in modern literature. When it is, it is often through the vehicle of the “low country person” or iconographic representation that is reductive and inaccurate. My work aims to both respond to the traditional farm narrative, as well as destabilize it. Headlands is a collection of four short stories that are thematically linked to each other. Each is told by the same narrator—a physically-disabled farmer’s son, and while his parents Horace and Laurel Dean are featured in every composition, their roles and characterization are different each time. The collection contains interconnected components meant to put the stories in dialogue with each other, while simultaneously standing alone as autonomous pieces. Gothic and grotesque elements persist through these stories, present to challenge the typical farm narrative while making it a more accurate vehicle to comment on the state of family farming in America.