Every old photo album contains a multitude of mysteries—the people who came before. Maria Romasco Moore’s eerie and incandescent novella-in-flash Ghostographs is no exception. Brief, crystalline stories combine with vintage photographs to illuminate the hidden terrain of childhood and the pain of growing up, all in one small town at the edge of an abyss where the narrator comes of age among family, friends, and phantoms. It’s a place populated with charming and unforgettable characters, where housewives send away for mail-order babies and young girls glow on front porches on hot summer nights. Where men get in staring contests with lamps and great aunts live in castles and collect haunted dogs. Where games of hide and seek refuse to end. It’s a town full of secrets, where the hardships of adulthood threaten to invade the wild and magical domain of children. Haunting and evocative, funny and strange, the world of Ghostographs may be memory or might just be a trick of the light.
«Maria Romasco Moore’s astonishing Ghostographs is an incantation, an elegy for the distance between life and death. It’s the sound one hears if one is lucky enough to perceive the chatter of ghosts, their magical cataloguing of what was and is. This is more than a novella, more than a book; it’s a living object that pulls you into its loop until it’s also yours, and you live there, too.»
Lindsay Hunter, author of Eat Only When You’re Hungry
«Each of these stories is its own ghost: startling, uncanny, gone. Each one rattles its chains, smiles its terrible smile, gestures toward the others. I feel like this book was written, specifically, for me: the me that loves vintage photographs, formal constraints, hauntings, ephemera, poetry; the me that loves campfire stories; the me that’s still a little scared of the dark.»
Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties
«Every so often I’m lucky enough to stumble across a debut by someone I immediately know will become one of my ‘everything writers’—a writer, that is to say, whose sensibility is exciting enough and whose work is original enough that I realize I’m on board not only for the book in my hands but for every book that follows. Maria Romasco Moore is such a writer, and Ghostographs is such a book: unique, beautiful, refined, and surprising.»
Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Illumination
«Maria Romasco Moore’s Ghostographs gives me the same feeling I experienced years ago when I first encountered the gorgeous, gruesome art of Edward Gorey. These stories in miniature leave me feeling both thrilled and horrified: horrified to be so thrilled, and thrilled to be so horrified. All my life I’ve wanted to encounter a real ghost, and now it seems I’ve come to know a whole town full of them.»
Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy and Other Stories
«Maria Romasco Moore’s sizzling debut, Ghostographs: An Album, calls to us from a lost world, one we can’t have back but that isn’t quite done with us. This collection of electric, short narratives functions like a re-remembered dream in the shower—nagging, expectant, undetermined. The interplay of lyrical narrative with old photographs of people and landscapes (sometimes fading from view, sometimes burning with light) landed me inside the familiar made strange. The sharp, sly language in Ghostographs is bound up in longings, just-revealed secrets, and wonder, and gives meaning to what is overlooked or misconstrued. The book takes us out of ourselves so that we see the world under a new ecstatic light. And as Romasco Moore writes, ‘You’ve got to be careful with light…some of it is shadow in disguise. Some of it isn’t light at all but the absence of darkness. Some of it can burn you.’»
Scott Blackwood, author of See How Small
Maria Romasco Moore’s stories have appeared in DIAGRAM, Hobart, Interfictions, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and the Lightspeed anthology Women Destroy Science Fiction. Her first novel, Some Kind of Animal, will be published by Delacorte Press in 2020. She is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop and has an MFA from Southern Illinois University. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her partner Axel and cat Gamma Ray. She likes silent films, aquariums, and other tiny windows into other worlds. Visit her website here.