“This time I’m not walking. I am a still point. This time, I merely sit quietly and allow the full weight of joy, of family, of the love we share, to bear me forward into a moment of glory where for one single and splendid instant I am absolutely one with every soul around me and the terror of it burns me clean.” This is perhaps the most telling passage in Steve Mitchell’s impressive volume because it reveals in dramatic though indirect fashion one theme common to almost all the stories in The Naming of Ghosts: the unabidable fear of loneliness, the need to escape by any means the solitary confinement of self.

Albert Camus would admire this book.” (more)
Fred Chappell, former NC Poet Laureate

“The writing is so beautifully crafted by this author I had to be careful not to get swept away. But the stories, which deceptively use mundane circumstances, are rich with meaning. The vivid language allowed me to imagine myself in many of the situations. They’re not stories about extraordinary individuals as much as everyday people making some extraordinary connections. And maybe that’s what the overall collection is about–making a connection to each other and to the world around us…”

“Steve Mitchell’s writing is unlike any other author I’ve come across. While reading the stories in his collection The Naming of Ghosts I felt at times like I was dreaming, at other times as if I was reading a poem and at others as if I was listening to music. Mitchell has the unique ability to draw you right into his character’s mind. His talent to convey the feminine is almost overwhelming and several times in reading the first few stories I had to stop and make sure I was holding the right book…”

Fred Armisen reads The Naming of Ghosts in Portlandia.