The Spirit of Place

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The Spirit of Place (2023)
A novella by Jeffrey Thomas

Introduction by Brian Evenson
Afterword by Jeffrey Thomas
Artwork by Richard A. Kirk



History is formed from layers, which often rest uneasily on each other, and this is true even of a land so mysterious and hidden from the rest of the world that it calls itself the Unnamed Country. But no place remains unknown forever, and now with the coming of outsiders a Westernized shopping center looms where an ancient temple once stood. And in turn, the temple was built upon a spot where life far older than humans dwelt.

Zuyen is a young woman who works at this shopping mall, and in those quiet moments when it shuts down for the night, she begins to see strange figures. On her dark walk home to her apartment, she feels followed. Zuyen becomes convinced that the place where she works is haunted, but not by some ordinary ghost with a grudge. As she becomes increasingly obsessed with these experiences, Zuyen suspects that the ghost could essentially be the mall itself. A ghost of the past. A spirit of place.

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"Thomas is expert at allowing unsettling moments to slowly bubble up and accumulate, and erupt. The Spirit Of Place is quietly powerful book, an original and resonant act of imagination about a characterís unraveling. If you know Thomasís work you may already be braced for what he can do to you, know how good his writing is at worming through your defenses. But knowing wonít save you."
—Brian Evenson, from his Introduction

"Jeffrey Thomas sounds like no one else precisely because he writes of a place no one else has been, yet which can feel like home."
—Michael Marshall Smith

"Jeffrey Thomasís imagination is as twisted as it is relentless."
—F. Paul Wilson