Publish Date: June 06, 2023
The characters in these stories of migration are marked by heritage and the pasts that follow them wherever they go. A young woman in 1970s Washington, D.C., is changed forever after her love interest is kidnapped; a woman’s personal crisis melds with the climate crisis on the darkened shores of Southwest Finland; a Karelian refugee attempts to control her legacy as she nears death; a threesome of young queer immigrants in New York discover their mutual friendship costs more than it gives. Each of these characters tries to find a way to accept—or erase—the ghosts and hollow spaces that follow their displacements.
Praise for The Ghosts of Other Immigrants
“The Ghosts of Other Immigrants is a thoughtful and compelling collection. The writing is lyrical and propulsive, each sentence a jewel. I found myself returning to these stories again and again, fascinated by the queerness of the text and the deeply messy humanity of these characters. Without a doubt, I’ll be thinking about this book for years to come.”
— KRISTEN ARNETT
New York Times bestselling author of With Teeth and Mostly Dead Things
“The characters in these stories are the uprooted whose lives are defined by loss, betweenness, and unavoidable severance, and Mäkinen writes about their lives with tremendous care. These pages vibrate with deep resonance.”
— HA JIN
National Book Award-winning author of A Song Everlasting and Waiting
“The Ghosts of Other Immigrants is an exquisite collection that depicts the cosmic longing and disorientation of immigrants with stunning originality. History echoes in Maija Mäkinen’s stories, singing of both beauty and wreckage. Both darkly funny and devastating, [these] stories reveal a fiercely insightful writer with a fully formed vision.”
— TSERING YANGZOM LAMA
Author of We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies
“The Ghosts of Other Immigrants describes the immigrant experience with humor, depth, and longing. Whether you’re an immigrant from Finland or have never left your hometown, you will love and identify with the honest, complicated, and vulnerable women you will meet in this book.”
— MARIA KUZNETSOVA
Author of Oksana, Behave! and Something Unbelievable
The work of Finnish-born writer and translator MAIJA MÄKINEN has appeared in The Iowa Review, Porter House Review, The Bare Life Review, SAND, and in Short, and Vigorous Roots: A Contemporary Flash Fiction Collection of Migrant Voices. She is a graduate of the Boston University Creative Writing Program, winner of the Iowa Review Award in Fiction, the University of Cambridge Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize and the Nadia Christen Prize in Translation, and fellowship recipient to Art Omi: Writers, The Studios of Key West and Kone Foundation’s Saari Residency in Finland. She has worked as a forensics lab dishwasher, candy factory machine operator, copyeditor, camera operator and conference organizer. After seven transatlantic moves, she lives in Brooklyn and writes mostly in English.