Brief, crystalline stories combine with vintage photographs to illuminate the hidden terrain of childhood and the pain of growing up in one imagined town at the edge of an abyss where the narrator comes of age among family, friends, and phantoms.
Maria Romasco Moore’s Ghostographs...is an eerie, intimate sequence of flash fictions illuminating the author’s carefully curated collection of vintage photographs. Each story takes up a single page opposite an image, and these linked snapshots offer glimpses into one child’s life in a surreal small town where girls glow, people grow stalk-still in tall grass and babies are occasionally delivered by mail. A delicate thread of continuity connects these flashes of story, each complete and perfect in and of itself but accreting meaning like nacre on a pearl ... Each vignette is effortlessly precise and endlessly evocative, a formula that’s also a poem, and a story first and foremost. The photographs are, themselves, fascinating artifacts ... Ghostographs felt profoundly unsettling in its familiarity. I’ve never read anything like it.
The imagery in [Moore's] stories, and the images themselves, are ethereal and haunting, but they’re also memorable and ironic. The work, for me, is evocative of Shirley Jackson’s Dark Tales short story collection in the best way: unforgettable, eccentric, and darkly funny, and immeasurably enhanced by the sepia photographs that tell their tales of days gone by ... Ghostographs is at once profound and lighthearted, and a perfect accompaniment to fall, the season that prompts nostalgia, change, and self-reflection.
Subtitled An Album, Ghostographs is like the memoir of an alternate universe ... Moore casually sneaks in references to her most potent theme—the haunting of the past that leaks into the present ...
Moore introduces a number of memorable characters ... The final story, Ghost Town, is almost elegiac in tone ... Maria Romasco Moore has a vivid and empathetic imagination. Her stories honoring that very real alternate universe are a delight to read.