A Constellation of Ghosts

A Constellation of Ghosts

A Speculative Memoir with Ravens

Laraine Herring


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A ghost is not what you think it is, says Raven. A ghost is a commitment. When Laraine Herring receives an unexpected colon cancer diagnosis, her father, thirty years dead, returns to her as a raven, setting off a magical journey into complicated grief, inherited trauma, and ancestral healing. As she struggles with redefining her expectations for her life, she slips further and further underground into the ancestral realm, where she finds herself writing a play directed by her father-as-raven. Raven says, It will be a cast of only four: you and me and my mother and my father, and we will speak until there are no more words between us. And then you can decide the ending. Tick, tock, write.A Constellation of Ghosts takes the reader into the liminal spaces between one world and another, where choices unspool into lives, and the stories we've told ourselves fall apart under the scrutiny of multiple perspectives like flesh from bone, reminding us that grief is the unexpected ferryman who can usher all of us back together again.


Laraine Herring:
Laraine Herring is a tenured professor of creative writing and psychology at Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ. Her fiction has won the Barbara Deming Award for Women, and her nonfiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has volunteered for Hospice of the Valley, directed the New Song Center for Grieving Children's support group, and worked with women in transitional housing and women recovering from addiction. Her work—whether it's her paid employment, her volunteer work, or her creative work—focuses on the power of stories to heal what's hidden within us.