In the Wake We're Left



Puente-Lay, Sofia

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis consists of a collection of short stories and concepts that explore cultural and generational navigation—within families, friend groups, intimates and strangers. The cultural background of many of the characters is based on my own heritage: my mother’s family is from Cambodia, my father is from Peru, I was born on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River and would grow up in neighboring Cincinnati. I’m aware of how exotic this all sounds on paper; what I hope to do in this work is to interrogate that assumption, to render diversity in all its human facets and showcase characters that subvert and complicate the traditional immigrant narrative/experience. The stories that my parents, grandparents, and community members shared with me were always spoken—I heard their voices, watched their faces, sat at their sides. This collection is the first attempt at distilling those human interactions into fiction


This thesis has been embargoed for 10 years. It will not be available until May 2030 at the earliest.


Thesis manuscript, Fiction, Story collection, Short stories, MFA thesis