Masters Theses


Live Ghosts

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Michael Knight

Committee Members

Marilyn Kallet, Allen Wier


In Live Ghosts, Patricia (Patty) Ireland offers a gathering of short stories based upon real life characters she encountered while growing up in the South. Exploring the diversity, complexity and moral ambiguity of those we might normally perceive as being stereotypically “Southern,” Ireland’s tales encompass a variety of time periods, settings, and characters, including: a modern-day family struggling to reconcile the reality of death, interracial lovers in the early 1950’s who are descended from masters and slaves, and an insane killer locked for life in a mental institution of the 1990’s. Live Ghosts is infused with tales of fear, love, loss, regret, madness, and self discovery, themes intrinsic not only to Southern culture, but to the universal vulnerability in all of us.

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