A spirit who is fated to spend eternity reliving the exact moment she lost her chance at love, ghostly trees that haunt the occupant of a wooden house, specters that snatch anyone who steps into the shadows, and parakeets that serve as mouthpieces for the dead: these are just a few of the characters in this extraordinary compendium of one hundred ghost stories. Kevin Brockmeier’s fiction has always explored the space between the fantastical and the everyday with profundity and poignancy. As in his previous books, The Ghost Variations discovers new ways of looking at who we are and what matters to us, exploring how mysterious, sad, strange, and comical it is to be alive—or, as it happens, not to be.
Kevin Brockmeier is the author of the memoir A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip; the novels The Illumination, The Brief History of the Dead, and The Truth About Celia; the story collections The Ghost Variations, Things That Fall from the Sky and The View from the Seventh Layer; and the children’s novels City of Names and Grooves: A Kind of Mystery. His work has been translated into seventeen languages. He teaches frequently at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was raised.
Review: The Ghost Variations, Kirkus Reviews
Prompt: A child’s doll comes to life. Begin by describing the doll, then go in any direction you wish.