“The Spiritualist & Her Discovery” and Other Queer Historical Fiction
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My creative thesis explores queerness, uncertainty, and growth in a collection of three short stories. Each protagonist faces a central conflict that is not queerness itself but in which queerness and queer people are part of significant solutions. Inspired by my parents’ hometown of Bloomer, Wisconsin, “Ginger Cookies” centers on Edith Ann, a straight woman in 1961 whose husband and young sons are away on a hunting trip, contends with her unmet need to feel connected to her capable, loving, and confident queer sister. “The Spiritualist & Her Discovery” centers on a queer man in the 1920s confronting his queerness as a married father while on the trail of a long-absent spiritualist sister. “Les Saules Morts” came about through an exploration of Thatcher-era antiqueerness in the United Kingdom as well as my recollections of my grandparents and of my mother’s work in a nursing home throughout my childhood.