A Ghost's Story | Granta

  • Published: 06/10/2016
  • ISBN: 9781783780365
  • 129x20mm
  • 336 pages

A Ghost’s Story

Lorna Gibb

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries séances and spiritualist meetings grew in popularity. One ‘ghost’ appeared more than any other: the Katie King spirit.

A Ghost’s Story presents the mysterious spirit writings and biographical outpourings of Katie King, this famous and enigmatic spirit celebrity. Is she a profound and curious consciousness guided into this realm by the faith of true believers, or the cheap trickery of parlour cheats and exploitative swindlers? Katie King is both, and more. This is the tale of a ghost’s quest to understand human faith, loss and passion. It is also the tale of a contemporary scholar desperate to understand the allure of the spirit world, journeying with Katie from the candle-lit drawing rooms of Victorian London to the Imperial Palaces of Tsars; from the shadiest of gimmicks and tricks, to the most poignant sincerity of the death-bed wish.

A Ghost’s Story announces a narrator like no other, moving in and out of time and space, obstreperous, witty and profoundly honest. Above all, it is an examination of belief and a spectacular insight into what lies on the other side.

This intriguing novel teasingly moves between truth and fiction with all the inventiveness and unpredictability of the mediums, frauds, and spirits who crowd its pages. The dazzling succession of extraordinary characters and bizarre happenings leaves the reader as puzzled as the dogged Victorian investigators of the "spirit world" - but much better entertained. For as well as being both horrifying and funny by turns, the novel becomes a touching love-story of the most unusual kind

Charles Palliser, author, The Quincunx

Compelling... Full of the most intriguing detail... Rich and strange

Eithne Farry, Sunday Express ****

In this her first novel, Lorna Gibb skilfully blends research and fact with fiction to create a unique perspective. Criss-crossing continents, moving back and forth through time, A Ghost's Story gives life to a voice that is at once compelling, fresh, surprisingly honest and funny, and above all, relentlessly intriguing

Judith Kinghorn

The Author

Lorna Gibb was born in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. She is a university lecturer and now lives in London. She is the author of Lady Hester: Queen of the East and West’s World: The Extraordinary Life of Dame Rebecca West. Her first novel, A Ghost’s Story, was published by Granta in 2015. Childless Voices was published in February 2019.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Childless Voices

Lorna Gibb

From the playgrounds of Glasgow to the villages of Bangladesh; from religious rites to ancient superstitions; from the world’s richest people to its powerless and enslaved, Lorna Gibb’s masterful Childless Voices paints a global portrait of people without children. Brilliantly grouped by thematic commonality (Those who long, Those who were denied, Those who Choose, etc) the book is a testament to the power of listening, and the power of sharing stories. It is an essential, moving and surprising book on a subject which touches everyone.

Lorna Gibb on Granta.com

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The Mask of Night

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‘I puzzled over the language but disentangled its meaning slowly, carefully, eager to connect’ Lorna Gibb on Shakespeare’s Juliet.

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Lorna Gibb on why Alasdair Gray's Lanark is the best book of 1981.

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‘There were rules to the game. I could not lose my virginity and I had to be careful not to let a boy go further than I wanted to.’