Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Creative Writing



Major Professor

Rick Barton

Second Advisor

Joanna Brent Leake

Third Advisor

David Rutledge


How We Live Today is a collection of stories about family connections and the process of making amends to keep a family whole. The families are not just traditional families, but also arrangements constructed out of necessity, circumstance, or convenience. The title story tells how a man ends a lengthy divide with a stepmother for the sake of her, his son, and ultimately himself. We see adolescents do the right thing in their circumstances at the risk of losing peer standing or to avert future social damage. An older golfer encourages a younger golfer, easing guilt but realizing that respect for the game ties golfers together. A young professional steps outside of his bounds to help a family of necessity, a group of gay men stricken during the first AIDS outbreak. Another man erases anxiety by dismissing the differences he has perceived in his relationship with his son. And finally, a young man sinks irretrievably into self-destruction over broken family ties.


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Available for download on Thursday, May 23, 2024