After the Fire

Overview

Before she found fame as a best-selling mystery author, Judith Jance wrestled with the personal anguish of being married to an alcoholic. For years she composed poetry in secret and kept it locked away. Finally it was published as After the Fire in 1984, the year before her debut novel. After the Fire chronicled the death of a relationship as Jance's marriage to her first husband gradually collapsed under the weight of his addiction—aided and abetted by her own unwitting denial and co-dependence—while she ...
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Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A. 2004 Hard Cover 1st Edition. 1st Impression. New in New jacket Signed by Author New in New DJ protected by Brodart mylar DJ cover. May have VERY minor ... bumping compliments of 'the boys in brown' from shipping to me. For pictures please visit my web store at www dot abnormalbooks dot com. Direct from Publisher and dropped shiped to Ms. Jance for her signature. Signed on full title page. Read more Show Less

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Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A. 2004 Hard Cover 1st Edition. 1st Impression. New in New jacket Signed by Author New in New DJ protected by Brodart mylar DJ cover. Direct from Publisher ... and dropped shiped to Ms. Jance for her signature. Signed on full title page. May have VERY minor bumping compliments of 'the boys in brown' from shipping to me. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Dunstable, MA

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Overview

Before she found fame as a best-selling mystery author, Judith Jance wrestled with the personal anguish of being married to an alcoholic. For years she composed poetry in secret and kept it locked away. Finally it was published as After the Fire in 1984, the year before her debut novel. After the Fire chronicled the death of a relationship as Jance's marriage to her first husband gradually collapsed under the weight of his addiction—aided and abetted by her own unwitting denial and co-dependence—while she struggled to find herself. I will not be the price of your redemption, she wrote then. I will not pay my life to ransom yours.

Now this deeply personal work is available in a new annotated edition. In it, Jance offers unblinking insights into where she was and what was happening when each of these searing poems was written—remaking After the Fire as more than a collection of poetry. Now it is a portrait of addiction and the insidious ways in which it destroys relationships.

A work of crushing defeat and ultimate triumph, After the Fire relates an emotional journey that will be readily recognizable to anyone who has seen love destroyed and then found the strength to go on. It will inspire others who are struggling with similar issues as it allows fans of Jance's mysteries to better know the mind—and heart—of a favorite author.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Accompanied by Jance's thoughtful and heartfelt narration, this edition of After the Fire becomes a testimonial to emotional survival and offers quiet but powerful encouragement to others who might find themselves in similar situations." —The Bookmonger"Showcases a spirit who has endured failure, tasted success, and accumulated an enviable store of wisdom in the process." —Seattle Times"Fans will love it. It’s a nice insight into the workings of a creative mind." —Arizona Daily Star
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931583046
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Libraries
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Pages: 85
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

J. A. Jance

J. A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, the Ali Reynolds series, and four interrelated thrillers about the Walker family. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle and Tucson.

Biography

Considering J. A. Jance's now impressive career -- which includes two massively popular mystery series and status as a New York Times bestseller -- it may be difficult to believe that she was initially strongly discouraged from literary pursuits. A chauvinistic creative writing professor advised her to seek out a more "ladylike" job, such as nurse or schoolteacher. Moreover, her alcoholic husband (a failed Faulkner wannabe) assured her there was room in the family for only one writer, and he was it. Determined to make her doomed marriage work, Jance put her writing on the back burner. But while her husband slept, she penned the visceral poems that would eventually be collected in After the Fire.

Jance next chose to use her hard times in a more unlikely manner. Encouraged by an editor to try writing fiction after a failed attempt at a true-crime book, she created J. P. Beaumont, a homicide detective with a taste for booze. Beaumont's drinking problem was clearly linked to Jance's dreadful experiences with her first husband; but, as she explains it: "Beaumont was smart enough to sober up, once the problem was brought to his attention. My husband, on the other hand, died of chronic alcoholism at age 42." So, from misfortune grew one of the most popular characters in modern mystery fiction. Beaumont debuted in 1985's Until Proven Guilty -- and, after years of postponing her writing career, Jance was on her way.

As a sort of light flipside to the dark Beaumont, Jance created her second series in 1991. Inspired by the writer's happier role as a mom, plucky small-town sheriff Joanna Brady was introduced in Desert Heat and struck an immediate chord with readers. In 2005, Jance added a third story sequence to her repertoire with Edge of Evil, featuring Ali Reynolds, a former TV reporter-turned-professional blogger.

And so, the adventures continue! A career such as Jance's would be extraordinary under any circumstances, but considering the obstacles she overcame to become a bestselling, critically acclaimed novelist, her tale is all the more compelling. As she explains it: "One of the wonderful things about being a writer is that everything -- even the bad stuff -- is usable."

Good To Know

Geographically speaking, Jance is equal parts J. P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady. She splits her time between Beaumont's big-city home of Seattle and Brady's desert residence of Arizona.

Before her writing career become truly lucrative, Jance made little more than "fun money" off her books, and on her web site, she wryly recalls "the Improbable Cause trip to Walt Disney World; the Minor in Possession memorial powder room; the Payment in Kind memorial hot tub."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Judith Ann Jance
    2. Hometown:
      Bellevue, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 27, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Watertown, South Dakota
    1. Education:
      B. A., University of Arizona, 1966; M. Ed. in Library Science, University of Arizona, 1970
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

A question of gender 3
Morning 5
Bitter fruit 7
Shifting gears 10
Strangers 12
Choices 15
Best friends 17
Misgivings 19
Portrait 21
Entrapment 23
Idle conversation 25
Homestead revisited 28
The rival 30
Missed connections 31
Hidden agenda 33
Breakage 34
Dirge 37
Watershed 39
Moving out 41
The collector 43
Conversation on a front porch 45
Why? 47
Insomnia 49
Undying love 51
After the fire 53
Unilateral disarmament 55
Death sentence 57
Vigil 59
Death after divorce 61
Missing condolence 63
Mother's day, 1983 65
Building a legend 67
Kindred spirit 69
Fog 71
Walking wounded 73
Maiden names 75
Changing times 77
Interim 79
Daybreak 81
Benediction 83
Postscript 85
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