In Jon Michael Varese’s debut novel, The Spirit Photographer (Overlook Press), a photographer running a successful business capturing carefully staged “images” of the deceased is startled to find a familiar face--that of the daughter of an escaped slave he knew long ago--in one of his photographs. Jon Michael Varese appears in conversation with Dan Berger, Assistant Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington at Bothell.
"Varese's unique first novel is set deep in the secrets of the postwar years, when the chains of slavery have vanished but an equally sinister underside to society remains. An entertaining amalgam of history and fiction, gothic and ghost story, The Spirit Photographer is an addicting tale.” - Booklist.
Jon Michael Varese is a literary historian whose focus has been the significance of the 19th-century British novel in both Britain and America, and is the Director of Public Outreach for The Dickens Project at the University of California Santa Cruz.