GhoStory Guru: “How the Dead Live” by Gina Ochsner

So, what do you think being dead sounds like? Gina Ochsner’s ghost story “How the Dead Live”—about a man who has died and haunts his daughter’s house only because she will not let go of his memory—answers this question beautifully. Ochsner uses sound in a subtle manner to imply the lack of communication between the man and his loved ones when he was alive, and the reader is treated to a piece that renders chills in what is heard: for example, there is the “sad sound of geese honking” (40-41) in his daughter’s dreams.

Ochsner’s story, on the surface, is about losing a loved one; the motif of sound and how it’s used serves as a reminder that we should, while we are still alive, take the time to listen to those around us, and be certain that we are heard.

“How the Dead Live” is found in Ochsner’s 2009 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction-winning Collection The Necessary Grace to Fall. You can purchase it by clicking here:

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in countless magazines and anthologies. She has received three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies, served as a co-editor for Read Short Fiction, has judged both writing and grant competitions and co-hosts the Dark Discussions Podcast. Her work Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole is a collection of ghost stories set in Disney Parks; her novel, Bad Apple, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She’s also a member of the New England Horror Writers Association. More info:

Posted on April 28, 2011, in GhoStory Guru and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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