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Ornithology in the Absence of Birds
Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Department or Program Affiliation
English - Creative Writing
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Magee, Kelly, 1976-
Miller, Brenda, 1959-
Yu, Ning, 1955-
Ornithology in the Absence of Birds is a condensed version of a novel, a speculative fiction piece that revolves around experiences of loss and how they impact us. The novel centers around the disappearance of one child and details the ways in which her absence reverberates through the lives of those left behind, pairing sections of before and after against one another as characters journey from initial loss through remembrance and on into coping.
Comprised of three sections, the thesis excerpt presents a snapshot of what the full novel contains. Through shifting perspective, character asides, and manufactured found texts, Ornithology seeks to highlight a menagerie of characters all placed under different circumstances as it puzzles through what loss really looks like.
speculative, fiction, novel, hybrid, writing, loss, ornithology, absence, birds
Western Washington University
Subject – LCSH
Loss (Psychology)--Fiction; Bereavement--Fiction; Creative writing
Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.
Rohrbach, Christa, "Ornithology in the Absence of Birds" (2020). WWU Graduate School Collection. 933.