James Morrison

Everyday Ghosts

For two years, Brother Pete has lived as a monk in a rundown abbey on the outskirts of the city. He has run away from his life only to find himself among a group of outcasts and oddballs, from a former child star who's seen better days, to an old abbot who makes no secret of his love for drink and his hatred for almost everything else.

It's not exactly what Pete had in mind.

Then one day a stranger arrives and throws everything off balance.

Soon, it seems, Brother Pete will need to face his own past if he wants to find out whether this mysterious visitor is a danger - or a savior.

"In Everyday Ghosts, James Morrison introduces us to a wonderfully eccentric cast of characters and lets each of them challenge, surprise, and move us. The writing is gentle and stern in turn, always beautiful as a fable or vision should be. As the story unfolds its mysteries, the truth at its core is at once painful and uplifting—an enduring lesson but also a delight."

-Kyoko Mori, author of Yarn and Shizuko's Daughter

"Readers dazzled by the moment in Suite Francaise when the narration switches to the point of view of the cat will have one more reason to admire James Morrison's touching new novella Everyday Ghosts which at a key moment beautifully glides into the thoughts of a donkey. Such is Morrison's grace that the shift feels natural. Equally believable is the arrival of a knowing stranger who may or may not embody the book's title more than the other offbeat characters at a faltering abbey on the edge of an unnamed city. The best of them is the protagonist, Brother Pete, a gay, young doubter who has spent two years there not taking vows and hiding from life, wasting his time on an affair with a egotistical former child star whose self-absorption perfectly skewers vanity in general and Hollywood in particular...Morrison expertly balances the comic and the moving. A very, very brief mass funeral for the town's 1,400 indigent deceased is a marvel. Like Jonathan Strong in Drawn From Life, he proves himself a wide-ranging master of compression.

Morrison gives a fine interview to the Michigan Quarterly Review in which he says the tone he wanted for the book was 'a kinder, gentler Muriel Spark' with a little Thomas Merton."

- Band of Thebes

Selected Works

Fiction
"As the story unfolds its mysteries, the truth at its core is at once painful and uplifting - an enduring lesson but also a delight." - Kyoko Mori
Nine short stories by "an extraordinary writer." -Paul Lisicky
This is finally a novel of genuine growth and change in a richly drawn character we come to love."
–Jonathan Strong
Creative nonfiction
Morrison’s memoir has a freshness and rich depth that set it apart.
Publishers Weekly