cover image Bone Soup

Bone Soup

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, . . Cemetery Dance, $40 (368pp) ISBN 978-1-58767-161-6

Wright (A Manhattan Ghost Story ) unravels all the old conventions of ghost stories with this rich collection of new and reprinted writing and artwork. Other than “Rainy Day People,” a gently unnerving study of cabin fever complicated by a supernatural siege, and “His Mother’s Eyes,” a brief yarn about the stubborn lines between fantasy and reality, most of the stories focus quite strongly on the dead. Prettily written and engagingly strange, if sometimes abstract and unclear (as with “The People on the Island,” where the only certainty is that at least one character is no longer alive), the stories provide crucial context for the crown jewel of the collection: “Cold House,” a short novel about two old lovers who have fallen out of touch. Wright’s ghosts frequently make for unreliable, confused or insane participants, keeping the reader intrigued and guessing. The only major flaw is the poetry, which mostly interrupts the steady flow of smooth oddness so painstakingly developed in the prose. 14 color illus. not seen by PW . (Mar.)