cover image For Other Ghosts

For Other Ghosts

Donald Quist. Awst, $18.95 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-0-9971938-7-9

These 12 impressive stories by Quist (Harbors), though varied in tone from poignant to painful, are all threaded together by the theme of loss, sometimes potent and even unsettling. Quist begins with an understated tale of bravery, “They Would Be Waiting,” about the narrator’s father, a Ghanaian resident of America who returns to his homeland to bury his mother and must face off against venal police to accomplish that task. “Memorials” is the story of two women named Beth who are united by the tragedy of 9/11. “Lalita Rattapong’s New Microwave” allows the title character to briefly travel backward in time, with no control over her destination. “#COOKIEMONSTER” examines the ways that social media serves as its own court when a 26-year-old housekeeper, Xiaoting Chen, is tried for failing to help her teen charge, James Hurtado, as he choked to death, possibly because he abused her. Quist sets his final tale, “The Ghosts of Takahiro Okyo” in Aokigahara Park, the “Suicide Forest” near Tokyo, where his characters must literally confront death. This stellar, moving collection will find its readers among those willing to look into the darkness. (Oct.)