Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Allen Wier

Committee Members

Michael Knight, Arthur Smith, Cary Staples


Abe Gaustad's first collection of stories, Welcome to Boomland, explores the lives of disparate characters longing for some escape. Whether a paraplegic blues aficionado or a boy who finds a strange object in the woods, they are each searching for a way out of their stagnation. Yet each character is trapped by their own unique circumstance: some of them by their mistakes, some by ruthless dictators, some by the very notion of death. As they search for their freedom, they find out new things about themselves and manage to wage quiet rebellions against those that would control them. In the end, they earn small victories, but noble ones.

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