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The Home Jar


Nancy Zafris

Publication Year: 2013

Nancy Zafris is a critically acclaimed writer because of the highly distinctive, piercing intelligence that underlies her works. Her gifts accumulate in a vision that somehow combines just the right amount of irony, subtle humor, and compassion for characters you won’t see anywhere else in contemporary fiction. Those characters are emotionally all over the map too: resolute, sympathetic, and indelible—their stories can be laugh-out-loud funny one minute and bittersweet the next. In The Home Jar, Zafris reconfirms herself to be among the keenest observers of the human condition around. This is her first short story collection since the critically acclaimed The People I Know, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and her most famous work, the New York Times notable novel The Metal Shredders. Zafris’s very loyal following of readers will herald The Home Jar as a major event in American letters.

Published by: Northern Illinois University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-6


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

Over the past several years I have been creatively inspired and blessed by the participants, staff, and friends who make up The Kenyon Review Summer Adult Workshops, and I thank everyone wholeheartedly. In particular, I wish to acknowledge Trish Walsh, for generously providing details for the story “A Modlified Cylinder,” ...

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Stealing the Llama Farm

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pp. 3-12

There came a day when I stole the llama farm from Amy Boyd. I was in love with Amy Boyd and once long ago I had saved her father’s life and felt the sun charge through my body. I think almost everyone would say I was not the kind of person who would steal someone’s llama farm right out from under them, ...

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Swimming in the Dark

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pp. 13-28

Life is strange, isn’t it? A hotel pool in Rome, the china plate of blue water, fifteen other girls in the company-issue swimsuit. We’re stewardesses from Japan. Yesterday we went shopping. Tomorrow, Singapore. ...

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Prix Fixe

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pp. 29-48

Miller returned to southern Ohio in time to offer some help and kindness to his failing parents. After their deaths he found a place in the woods to live and a job as chef in the dining facilities of a state park. Often in the morning he drove a long hour or more to the markets in the city, ...

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Furgus Welcomes You

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pp. 49-58

Angela Dahlgren was the first to hear it. The sound wasn’t thunderous and it wasn’t messy — that was something she could have handled. Her family had once been a lot bigger and a lot noisier; it was all thunder and mess, and that was what she was used to. ...

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The Home Jar

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pp. 59-72

Most of the travelers who come through our doors are not at all like Mr. Smith. They are polite, honest, what my night manager calls decent folk, and as thoughtful of others as they can be in the midst of their purposeful lives. Guests do not come to our hotel simply to vacation. ...

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A Modified Cylinder

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pp. 73-84

She arrived at the house by jitney. Cameron had promised to cover transportation costs, but he made lots of promises and she couldn’t count on reimbursement. A regular taxi this far out in the country would cost at least forty or fifty dollars one way. ...

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After Lunch

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pp. 85-98

Eskrich of late had grown suspicious. His legs always let him know. In the expensive restaurants where he was a daily customer, he had begun to notice alert ears cocked his way. The waiters lingered, combing non-existent crumbs from the tablecloth. ...

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If A Then B Then C

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pp. 99-106

Three years ago I was making a living as a realtor. The market was on fire. Even a newcomer like me could move houses. All I had to do was pull up to the curb in my car, pose in the yard by the For Sale sign and await my clients. Other potential buyers would usually be leaving as my home-hunters arrived. ...

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Vantage Point

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pp. 107-118

Thanksgiving day. The changeable Ohio weather has changed again. From the top of the hill Don Capachi can spot golfers in shirt sleeves. It’s a pretty sight, the golf course, the mowed countryside that stretches around these little holes with flags sticking out of them. ...

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White’s Lake

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pp. 119-136

The dirt road was narrow and the way it rose erratically warned of a hill much steeper than the reality. The wild foliage along the shoulder, seldom attended to, brushed against the few passing cars. ...

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Digging the Hole

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pp. 137-168

Newly paved with two full lanes, the road caught her by surprise. In the thirties it had been a narrow dirt pike; for decades after, an oily gravel trail. When had this startling change come about? She could feel her Toyota spring into a surprised reaction. On this state-of-the-art surface it was hell-bent on setting a record. ...

E-ISBN-13: 9781609090814
Print-ISBN-13: 9780875806884

Page Count: 180
Publication Year: 2013