Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts
Marian Zuckerman writes obituaries. The problem is, she doesn't write true obituaries. She writes her clients deaths how she thinks those clients would like to have died, or should have died, or how the client's family think they should have died. A heat attack on the toilet becomes an heroic dash into a burning building. One more drunk night behind the wheel becomes a tragic fall through the ice while ice skating. A garage full of gas fumes becomes a snack for an orca whale at the zoo. But not everyone is so understanding of Marian's view of life and death, and a law suit is waiting on her door step, along with several Bibles. Marian's life is thrown into chaos when her job as an Obituary writer is questioned, her home is threatened, and her mother comes back into her life. She moves to Maine where she meets a quirky cast of characters, some of whom will become closer to her than she ever expected.
What starts as Marian's attempt to search for her deceased husband, escape her mother, and deal with the law suit in peace becomes, ultimately, a journey about piecing yourself back together, finding family even if they're not related by blood, and giving voice to people who don't have one--especially when that person is yourself.
Corrie Rhoda Byrne
Byrne, Corrie Rhoda, "The Obituary Writer" (2013). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 13265.