Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.F.A. in Creative Writing



First Advisor

Tom Franklin

Second Advisor

Jack Pendarvis

Third Advisor

Gregory Schirmer

Relational Format



Gravesend, a novel, is set predominantly in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, though there are several scenes that take place in a fictional upstate town called Hawk's Nest. The novel centers around three characters: Conway D'Innocenzio, Alessandra Biagini, and Eugene Calabrese. These characters are tied together by Ray Boy Calabrese, who has recently been released from prison for his role in the brutal death of Duncan D'Innocenzio, Conway's brother, sixteen years before. Ray Boy returns and Conway, twenty-nine and working at Rite Aid, seeks revenge. Alessandra, a failed actress who has been in Los Angeles for a decade and has returned to Gravesend against her better judgment, is unexpectedly drawn to Ray Boy. And Eugene, Ray Boy's nephew, is a gangster-in-the-making who idolizes his uncle for all the wrong reasons. These characters spin around Ray Boy, crossing paths and seeking to come to terms with what the neighborhood has made them.



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