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These Ghosts Are Family

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
Longlisted for the 2020 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

A “rich, ambitious debut novel” (The New York Times Book Review) that reveals the ways in which a Jamaican family forms and fractures over generations, in the tradition of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

*An Entertainment Weekly, Millions, and LitHub Most Anticipated Book of 2020 Pick and Buzz Magazine’s Top New Book of the New Decade*

Stanford Solomon’s shocking, thirty-year-old secret is about to change the lives of everyone around him. Stanford has done something no one could ever imagine. He is a man who faked his own death and stole the identity of his best friend. Stanford Solomon is actually Abel Paisley.

And now, nearing the end of his life, Stanford is about to meet his firstborn daughter, Irene Paisley, a home health aide who has unwittingly shown up for her first day of work to tend to the father she thought was dead.

These Ghosts Are Family revolves around the consequences of Abel’s decision and tells the story of the Paisley family from colonial Jamaica to present-day Harlem. There is Vera, whose widowhood forced her into the role of a single mother. There are two daughters and a granddaughter who have never known they are related. And there are others, like the houseboy who loved Vera, whose lives might have taken different courses if not for Abel Paisley’s actions.

This “rich and layered story” (Kirkus Reviews) explores the ways each character wrestles with their ghosts and struggles to forge independent identities outside of the family and their trauma. The result is a “beguiling…vividly drawn, and compelling” (BookPage, starred review) portrait of a family and individuals caught in the sweep of history, slavery, migration, and the more personal dramas of infidelity, lost love, and regret.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Written with the brand of Jamaican humor I know and love, These Ghosts Are Family is a book I didn't know I needed to read, which might be the best kind of book. Maisy Card is a wonderful arrival for Caribbean literature." - Alexia Arthurs

"Maisy Card is a great writer. Her compelling debut evokes the richness of culture and the inevitable impact of generational secrets, full of magnificent characters that continue to haunt me." - Nicole Dennis-Benn

"These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card will enchant readers completely with a fascinating cast of characters, each more bewitching than the last. This book is destined to become 2020's most beloved debut novel." - Julia Fierro

"This spirited narrative is grounded in a devastating history; and yet, somehow, These Ghosts Are Family generates a sense of possibility about the future--for these characters, and for the reader as well." - Tope Folarin

"Maisy Card's relentlessly inventive debut is a thrilling exploration of family, memory and which pasts we choose to haunt us." - Kaitlyn Greenidge

"Through Maisy Card's immersive storytelling, These Ghosts Are Family explores the intersections of generational trauma, love, and long-held family secrets, showing what it means to build a life in the face of history. I was hooked from page one." - Lisa Ko

"Every family's got secrets but Abel Paisley's secret is monstrous and mesmerizing. These Ghosts are Family begins with energy and intrigue and, really, never lets up. This book is painful and shocking but it can be funny as hell, too. What a talented writer. Maisy Card has written one of the best debut novels I've read in many years." - Victor LaValle

"I suspect many readers will talk about the consequences of unspoken generational trauma in These Ghosts Are Family, but I'm most amazed by the deft use of characterization, place and embodiment here. This book is a master class in writing home as a collection of odd spirits and a mobile metaphor." - Kiese Laymon

"In this fascinating debut, Maisy Card reveals her spectacular range and scope. Part immigrant narrative, part ghost story, part historical fiction, part family drama, These Ghosts Are Family explores and illuminates the complexities of race and lineage in Jamaica and the United States. This is a bold, gripping, compassionate book." - Helen Phillips


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Used availability for Maisy Card's These Ghosts Are Family

Hardback Editions

September 2020 : USA Library Binding
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Title: These Ghosts Are Family
Author(s): Maisy Card
ISBN: 1-64358-625-4 / 978-1-64358-625-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Platinum Spotlight Series
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


March 2020 : Hardback
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Title: These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel
Author(s): Maisy Card
ISBN: 1-982117-43-5 / 978-1-982117-43-6
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

January 2021 : Paperback
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Title: These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel
Author(s): Maisy Card
ISBN: 1-982117-44-3 / 978-1-982117-44-3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

March 2020 : Audio CD
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Title: These Ghosts Are Family
Author(s): Maisy Card
ISBN: 1-79710-391-1 / 978-1-79710-391-4
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2020 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel
Author(s): Maisy Card
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon   


March 2020 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel
Author(s): Maisy Card
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon AU   


March 2020 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel
Author(s): Maisy Card
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


March 2020 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel
Author(s): Maisy Card
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

March 2020 : Australia, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel
Author(s): Maisy Card
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


March 2020 : UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel
Author(s): Maisy Card
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon UK