In Plain Sight
This collection of stories was created for my arts, humanities, and social science capstone at Olin College of Engineering. The goal of my project was to explore the relationship between fiction and my reality in pieces that intentionally blur the lines between the two. I hoped to use these pieces to share stark glimpses into both my life and my characters’ lives, and leave it to the reader’s interpretation to untangle and decipher these stories as they see fit. I was inspired by semi autobiographical storytelling, such as the Little House on the Prairie series, the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, the webtoon The Kiss Bet by Ingrid Ochoa, and Taylor Swift’s recent album folklore. I was also inspired by how works set in realms that feel so distant from us, like The Hunger Games trilogy, can be so rooted and inspired by the actual current social situations and events.
The first three sources all played with retelling their experiences while blending in fictitious or exaggerated components and characters. Little House on the Prairie presents itself as the closest to the “truth”, but still reveals bits about the author’s life in addition to weaving a fictional narrative. While The Kiss Bet presents itself as fiction, the author has admitted that those close to her can immediately name the individuals and situations that inspired characters and plotlines. Taylor Swift’s folklore was a massive inspiration in regards to the structure and creating a myriad of pieces, as the album contains songs completely about Swift’s life, songs completely about fictional characters, and songs that combine the two seamlessly. I grew up believing that storytelling was the most compelling and versatile tool in the world. In these pieces, you will read about the plight of an aging nymph, someone who recognizes their role in their own stagnation, and the stories that can be mapped onto one’s hands. But you will also read the confessions of a twenty two year old who is still searching for connection and a sense of belonging.