"And Other Stories - An Experiment in Transformative Fiction," Arsalan Ul Haq

Drawing from my background in architecture, I have attempted to apply design sensibilities to the production of fiction. Conceptualized as a collection of three separate yet interconnected stories, my thesis – And Other Stories – investigates how different genres of fiction and writing styles, specifically, the short story, graphic novel and play, can interact to address a single story arc. Thematically, all three stories are tied by the thread of otherness, which is explored through relationships, location and questions of identity and belonging.

And Other Stories starts out with the trials of parenthood, examining the relationship between a man and his ill daughter as they travel to Boston, before taking the reader through the throes of desire, and finally concluding with an after-death reflection on his life. Shifting between the United States and Pakistan, and jumping between the years 2004 and 2021, readers follow the struggles of the protagonist at various stages of his life, inhabiting his space, his mind, in a complex narrative that keeps transforming. Ultimately, this thesis intends to reflect my peculiar understanding of literary space by borrowing ideas from design that help sculpt it into a unified narrative across genres.