Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing

First Advisor

McNamara, Eugene,


Literature, Canadian (English).




The first time I saw Emalien Gruhn, I mistook her for a cow. She was working in her rose garden in a black wool skirt and black rubber boots. She was bent over from the waist, and from where I was sitting, I couldn't see anything but her ample rear end. "That's not a cow," said my brother Matthew. "That's Mrs. Gruhn." Mrs. Gruhn was seventy-nine years old and she lived alone except for her dog and a few cats. My brother and I used to wait in the car while my father dropped in to ask Mrs. Gruhn if she needed anything in town. Matthew would slide down into the back seat, and in imitation of Mrs. Gruhn, he'd crunch up his face and cackle like a witch. He'd say, "Here kitty, kitty into the pot." But I didn't believe a word of it and I wasn't afraid of her. My father said her house had fourteen rooms and it was full of junk and that's what I really wanted to see. Fourteen rooms filled with junk. I didn't know that one day I would own Emalien Gruhn's fourteen room house, and that one day I would fill it with my own junk. I bought the house twelve years after Mrs. Gruhn died. I was thirty-two years old, recently divorced, and alone except for my dog, Fred. I was not looking for love. I was not looking for Larry Fitzpatrick, but he found me, nonetheless. Larry Fitzpatrick is an inventor and a good cook. He made me a lot of dinners because the way to a woman's heart, don't you know, is through her stomach. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-02, page: 0530. Adviser: Eugene McNamara. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1994.