Date of Award

2022

First Advisor

Daniel Neilson

Second Advisor

Francisca Oyogoa

Comments

Two protagonists, Francine, a 22-year-old writer from the present, and Marlin, a mutant from the future, narrate the converging stories in this historical fiction about the eventual demise of political structures, class, and social convention. It's a year into the pandemic. Francine and her friend Finn live together in their cramped Brooklyn apartment, where the two struggle to find purpose in life. Francine's constant criticism of the modern world leaves her unmotivated towards finishing her first manuscript about a young heroine who must go undercover to correct a corrupt local election. Francine finds it difficult to be proud of her first novel. In search of inspiration, she returns to the library she once visited as a child and wanders into a fantastical room filled with children’s books and art. She discovers by reaching her hand into a basket full of puppets and wooden toys, the door to a portal that would completely change her outlook on life. Francine and Marlin's lives cross paths when she is transported to the year 3030 to the city of Talith, a fictional landscape that imagines one society's response to surveillance capitalism in a dystopian technological age and its succumbing to the world's deadly climate crisis. The Talithian society gives greater insight into Francine's criticisms of U.S political systems by framing solutions through the lenses of Spade, Chomsky, Locke, and Foucault.

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