Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Susann Cokal


What follows is a compilation of the best works of creative writing I have completed during my three-year tenure as an M.F.A. candidate in the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Although I have included the debatably disparate genres of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction (including both short stories and a novel excerpt), it is my aim that the variety of types of work under this cover come together to form a whole. Through themes such as religion, family, romantic relationships, travel, “the exotic,” and nationality, my project is to illuminate the complications that place and identity (or, in more writerly terms, setting and character) pose to the human psyche. The non-fiction piece lays a literary groundwork by reflecting on experiences of travel and language in relation to James Joyce's masterwork, and, while the poems offer brief meditations with a focus on language at the micro-level, the short stories give longer narrative hooks that draw out themes through a network of actions and images. The novel is still a work-in-progress, but this polished opening excerpt shows the promise of what I hope it to be: an amalgamation of the shifting identities of modern Arab and Arab-American people as seen through the lens of a psychic sort of epistolary love story.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Monday, August 12, 2216