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Ghosts of Wyoming

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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  23 reviews
An unsentimental vision of the west, new and old, comes to life in a gritty new collection of stories by the author of Snow, Ashes

In Ghosts of Wyoming, Alyson Hagy explores the hardscrabble lives and terrain of America’s least-populous state. Beyond the tourist destinations of Jackson Hole and Yellowstone lies a less familiar and wilder frontier defined by the tension wrou
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Graywolf Press
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Summer Ross
Hagy did a terrific job dragging the reader into stories they had to think about. Throughout most of the book, she switches from serious to comedy short pieces.

My favorites in her collection are "Superstitions of the Indians" and "Lost Boys." The first is a comical short piece about an Indian woman and a book with a mind of its own. The main character is a bit dense to start, but eventually comes around to help the Book and Indian woman. The second piece haunts me with the "lost." I had to sit a
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Anastasia Hobbet
The eight, spare, elegant short stories in Alyson Hagy’s new collection, Ghosts of Wyoming left me haunted too at the end. Hagy has sculpted her writing down to such leanness that, if she had written a few words less here and there, I’d have been lost. But instead, I was drawn down by the tow of her words and became part of the scene. I didn’t care what the characters said or did; I just wanted to be with them. It takes powerful writing to make me so docile. Now, having finished the book, here I ...more
Tammy
A Book Review of Ghosts of Wyoming By Alyson Hagy (Review by Tammy Dominguez)

Alyson Hagy’s book, Ghosts of Wyoming, is an interesting collection of short stories that span a variety of space and time. Her style of writing is transgressive in the sense that she seems to jump around and begin the story in the middle, then writes about the end, or circles back to the beginning again. Many of her stories endings are ambiguous and leave much to the reader’s imagination. Even the title caused some di
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Cassandra
I would actually give it 3.5 stars - as a collection. Some of the individual stories would score higher.

Alyson Hagy is a skilled storyteller. Many of the stories in Ghosts of Wyoming (Graywolf Press) feel more like the type that would be told around a campfire than put down on the page, particularly "Superstitions of the Indians." The best of the bunch is the first story in the collection, "Border". It has a more contemporary feel than the other stories, and it sets the tone for a very differen
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Susan Klinke
(3.5) My favorites are Border, How Bitter the Weather, and The Sin Eaters.

I love the opening paragraph of How Bitter the Weather:

I judge their hands. I say to myself, yes, that guy fights fires in the mountains. Or no, that guy's not a roofer, no matter what he claims. Armand has spadelike hands, troweling hands, and they convince me he speaks a certain kind of truth. He woos me with the fused joint of his ring finger, the corrugated grasp of his palms. It seems possible that he quarried rock i
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David Abrams
Ghosts of Wyoming by Alyson Hagy was easily one of my favorite short story collections of this year (2010).


For years, Hagy has been producing solid fiction that, for the most part, flies under the radar--literature that sadly goes unnoticed by most of the reading population in this country. Far too few people have picked up the novels Keeneland and Snow, Ashes and the short-story collections Graveyard of the Atlantic, Madonna on Her Back, and Hardware River. Like the others, Ghosts of Wyoming de
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Holly Azevedo
I am a new fan of Alyson Hagy. Her collection of short stories is haunting, and she uses varying timeframes, characters of all ages and stages, and fresh prose to create her stories. Sentences like "The biggest mountains in the range, Copper and Hoodoo and Sharp, took twilight into their teeth" reflect her ability to give something as often-written as sunset a new view. Hagy knows Wyoming as well as Proulx, and bares its landscape, rugged inhabitants, and lore throughout her writing.
Shelly
Jul 25, 2010 Shelly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Shelly by: Goodreads
Shelves: ocl-n, fiction-novel
Well I'm glad I didn't pay money for this. Although Hagy is a good writer that can turn a nice phrase; i.e., "We are mere acquaintances, people who stipple one another's lives with greetings and farewells" (my favorite) or "Thanksgiving is coming up; it's time to tangle the family knots" among many others, I feel her content is lacking. For instance, I don't get why, except that she lives in the state now, that Wyoming is the setting for most of her stories. Her writing is character driven and s ...more
Linda
This is a collection of short stories. Some of the stories were great. Others, I didn't enjoy as much. She nails most of her characters very well. The last in the volumne, The Sin Eaters, is an historically based character study and exploration of values, racism,and the role of religion in the settling of the west.

I also enjoyed The Little Saint of Hoodoo Land, in which a young girl comes to terms with her own personal mistake, and copes with her mother's emotional instability which is, in turn,
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Mike The Don
Ghosts of Wyoming is compilation of fictional short stories that take place in the U.S.'s least populated state. Very well written with enough detail to get your imagination working while not hindering the progression of the story.

The book is kind of vague in describing it's purpose. Only after I read the first story did I realize "Ghosts" meant shadows of former selves or past semblances of the characters haunting the present. This lead to slight disappointment and, unfortunately, disinterest i
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James Gillett
Really enjoyed this book. The writing is efficient, lean and well paced.

The characters and places are vivid, colourful and the stories are haunting indeed, particularly the second story 'How Bitter the Weather'.



Cheryl Klein
There is much to love about this very cohesive story collection: Hagy's use of ghosts as metaphor and actual spooky plot device, her deep appreciation of Wyoming's history, and her transformation of Western motifs from the stuff of genre movies to true literary grit. Not to mention her ability to describe a landscape ("ribs of wind-polished granite began to emerge from the tresses of prairie"). But for some reason I liked the idea of this book more than I liked the actual book--it never crossed ...more
Aaron Lozano
A fun read here, I sort of felt like you really had to know Wyoming to truly appreciate the book. Some of the stories left me wanting much more, not sure if that is a good thing or not. Extremely well written.
Melissa
I had high expectations for this book of short stories. Now, I don't consider myself a dim witted reader but several of the stories I just didn't "get." The stories are very well written but I felt the mood and intent of most of the them were too subtle and slow. I was imapatient-hoping to be rewarded with a story that left me somehow altered. I can say that only three of them came very close...if not succeeded in doing that.
Dustin
Great imagery of a place I have not yet visited, in literature or in person. Hagy blends contemporary circumstances with the legend and mythology of the old West quite well. Could have done without the sad scenes with dogs though.
Stephanie
The short story is a hard form to do well, and Alyson Hagy does it very well. The stories are each distinct and have their own flavor; each represents a different moment in time and a different experience of Wyoming.
Charles Ellenbogen
Some wonderful writing, notably the verbs, but I wasn't always sure what it added up to. A rare treat to read something set in Wyoming. Not generally a big fan of ghost stories, and this didn't change my view.
stacy
May 02, 2010 stacy added it
A month-long discussion of this book appears at Emerging Writers Network [ http://www.emergingwriters.typepad.com/ ] during May aka Short Story Month 2010.

Leslie
Absolutely haunting. Hagy effortlessly shifts voices and times in this collection of stories bound together by their Wyoming setting.
Malex10000
Great short story author. Also has several other books both short storie and novels that are excellent as well.
Laraine
This was very enjoyable from start to finish. It was recommended by a colleague and it did not disappoint.
Alicia
Apr 29, 2010 Alicia marked it as to-read
Won from first reads!! I really love the cover on this book. Can't wait to read it.
Susan
When it had the "F-word" twice in the first ten pages I decided it wasn't a book for me.
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Alyson Hagy, a novelist and short story writer, was raised on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and now lives and teaches in Laramie, Wyoming.
More about Alyson Hagy...
Boleto Keeneland Snow, Ashes Graveyard of the Atlantic Hardware River Stories

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