For Other Ghosts


For Other Ghosts


In this collection of short fiction, Quist threads together intimate stories of family and culture with delicate, and emotionally complex, connective tissue.

His style is warm and humble, yet polished and poetic. The environments are highly sensory and vivid, whether it’s a cramped twelve passenger van in Ghana, or a Bangkok street stand selling mango and sticky rice, or a cash-only room at a roadside motel just over the border of Utah. The smells, tastes, and textures of For Other Ghosts transports readers across the globe while grounding them in the tender and familiar.

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“The words gathered into a book of fiction are often said to conjure up a world. Usually this is an exaggeration, but what Donald Quist has accomplished in For Other Ghosts is to truly give us what feels like an entire world›s breadth and depth. The range, sensitivity, and brilliance of these stories are astounding. His readers are in for a mind-expanding experience.”

—Jamel Brinkley, author of A LUCKY MAN

“Elliptical, unconventional, tense, and beautiful, the stories in For Other Ghosts will haunt you. In his essays, and now in his fiction, Donald Quist has made it clear that he’s a writer to watch.”

—Martha Southgate, author of THIRD GIRL FROM THE LEFT and THE TASTE OF SALT

“I read For Other Ghosts with an increasing awe, my world expanding with each sentence. And that›s what Donald Quist›s writing does, enlarges your world as it enlivens it, making you aware of your connection to the things and people around you. This is a book written with passion and sensitivity for all that’s human in us.”

—Rion Amilcar Scott, author of INSURRECTIONS: STORIES

“Donald Quist is a master of the unspoken, the way the heaviness of loss, conviction, and fear can both alter a life and haunt it. For Other Ghosts is a beautifully crafted collection that will make you question many things and illuminate many more.”

—Natalia Sylvester, author of EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME and CHASING THE SUN

“For Other Ghosts sweeps across a globe interlinked and imperiled as never before by technology and industrialization, and hits pause only to gaze unflinchingly into how the individual smacks against the most unexpected of impediments. What kind of justice is to be found in these troubled times? How do we navigate the inescapable imprint of US empire—as insiders, as outsiders, here and abroad? These are the momentous questions that Quist courageously and graciously pursues, his prose precisely chosen and evocative, his range of deftly crafted characters authentic and indispensable.”


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.)
— Publishers Weekly review