Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
First Reader/Committee Chair
ME WITHOUT YOU is an interlinked collection of short stories set in the blight of an urban housing project in San Bernardino, California. The stories follow the lives of three students in their year of fourth grade at a low performing school. Narrated from these points of view, the collection amplifies the voices of a community wrought with violence, poverty, and crime while also exploring how children brave the consequences of a world they cannot control.
Mesmerizing in its simplicity, and gripping in its detail, ME WITHOUT YOU intertwines themes of identity, family, loss, poverty, and longing for what is just out of reach. It begs the reader to question how one survives a world of violence and disillusionment.
The story behind my stories is this: in my nine years in San Bernardino, I have learned that it isn’t just the origin of one’s story that matters, but what one does with it. In this way, ME WITHOUT YOU tells the stories of this region, the dreams of its children, and the journeys they navigate in order to survive.
Bracken, Michelle, "ME WITHOUT YOU" (2015). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 217.