Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Title

Seawall

Date of Award

1-1-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.F.A. in Creative Writing

Department

English

First Advisor

Tom Franklin

Second Advisor

Magalí Armillas-Tiseyra

Third Advisor

Chris Offutt

Abstract

Seawall consists of two self-contained selections of fiction from a larger project. Seawall follows a young man named Million Horizon from the moment he arrives in Galveston, Texas, in September of 1900 along with the historical hurricane that would come to be known as the Great Storm of Galveston. This thesis is narrated in a close third-person focused on Million. Although much of the setting and some of the characters are based on historical fact, this thesis often diverges significantly from historical truth and includes fantastical elements. In the first section, Million is conscripted into a largely black crew whose duty is to recover corpses from the wreckage of the city. He meets several pivotal characters and eventually manages to escape into the custody of Henry James Moody, Jr., a wealthy businessman, who places him on retainer for future jobs. In the second section, Million settles into his house near the black district of Galveston. He takes part in the mysterious disappearance of his former foreman. He partially fulfills an assignment from Moody to convince the residents of his neighborhood to sign exploitative insurance contracts. His house is burned down and mysterious assailants assault him. Finally, he discovers an uncomfortable truth.

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