Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor

Jose Skinner

Second Advisor

Dr. Marci McMahon

Third Advisor

Dr. Philip Zwerling


Living in the Outskirts is a bildungsroman collection of short stories of a young Chicano growing up in the Rio Grande Valley town of Elsa, Texas. In the critical introduction of this thesis, I discuss how my stories challenge traditional Chicano/a cultural ideals of masculinity, language, class and nationality. Included in my introduction are other Chicano/a writers who engaged with these Chicano/a cultural ideals, and who I find myself in conversation with through my work. Inspired by Gloria Anzaldúa’s theory of the “New Mestiza Consciousness,” I show how the protagonist of my stories gradually changes throughout the collection and adopts a new Valley Chicano consciousness.


Copyright 2013 Thomas De La Cruz. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American