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What does it mean to deeply love a home place that haunts us still? From Mark Twain to Grant Wood to Garrison Keillor, regionalists from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age have explored the American Gothic and the homegrown fatalism that flourish in many of the nation's most far-flung and forgotten places. The Haunt of Home introduces us to a cast of real-life Midwestern characters grappling with the Gothic in their own lives, from promising young professionals debating the perennial "Should I stay or should I go" dilemma, to recent émigrés and entrepreneurs seeking personal reinvention, to faithful boosters determined to keep their communities alive despite the odds. In The Haunt of Home Zachary Michael Jack considers the many ways a region's abiding spirit shapes the ethos of a land and its people, offering portraits of others who, like himself, are determined to live out the unique promise and predicament of the Gothic.
“This story of fatalism on the prairie is seamlessly grounded in references to American art, literature, and movies and to communal fatalism in classical literature. In this way, Zachary Jack's experiences become universal, extending far beyond Middle America.”—James Ballowe, author of A Man of Salt and Trees