The People I Know: Stories (Hardback)Nancy Zafris (author)
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Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 229 x 146 x 20 mm
The recipient of a Flannery O'Connor Award, Zafris debuts here with a collection of nine stories narrated by characters whose lives take place around those of other people. In 'Morning at the Beach, ' an elderly vacationer sits placidly on her Miami hotel porch, plotting wild crimes. 'Final Weeks' is a woman's wistful recollection of a kindred soul she met years ago in Japan, an oppressed mother of three who had never been kissed. In 'The Metal Shredders' we are privy to the surprising and desperate thoughts of a man who runs an automobile junkyard. 'From Where I Sit, ' the stand-out in this collection, is told in the voice of a teenager forced to wear leg braces. The story reverberates with the particular wit and unease of a girl who suspects 'that warm regard and gratitude were my province, and that the more alarming passions would not be mine.' Frequently funny, these tales are threaded with a dark despair. Zafris has a keen ear for a great variety of voices.--"Publishers Weekly"
A lively, entertaining and often unexpectedly moving collection . . . Zafris brings to life an offbeat but recognizable world of misfits, freaks and outsiders. Her central characters--like the homely young woman in 'Cosmetic Surgery' and the physically handicapped little girl in 'From Where I Sit'--are wistful but keen-eyed observers of a 'normal' world whose follies they recognize but which they long to join.--Greg Johnson ""New York Times Book Review" "
A funny, touching collection of the world's odd ducks. . . . Nancy Zafris is a . . . winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. Spend a little time with the quirky and marginal and just plain strange characters who people her first collection, and you'll start to understand why.--Louise Kennedy ""Boston Globe" "
Comedy and pain coexist in exquisite tension in the best of the stories in this collection. . . . Every year, as surely as a basketball scandal, a number of gifted young writers emerge in print. It is hard to think of one whose diversity of subject matter equals Nancy Zafris.--Betsy Willeford ""St. Petersburg Times" "
What lifts these tales is the tenderness and wit with which the author unfolds the layers of these people. She reads life through a variety of voices, bravely facing what hides at the inner core while revealing the passions that have guided them in their choices.--Robert Merritt ""Richmond Times-Dispatch" "
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