Thomas Lynch is surely the only man on earth to be both an undertaker and a professor of creative writing. Both these jobs he performs in his native Michigan, in between writing his own work. He has published three outstanding collections of poetry and three books of non-fiction: if you have not read his essays, The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, you should. It may sound grim, but this little book contains wisdom, compassion and humour in equal parts and no library may call itself complete without a copy.
Apparition is Lynch’s first excursion into fiction and every bit as enjoyable as the books that precede it. There are five stories in this book; the longest of them, the title piece, a novella. The hero of ‘Apparition’ is Adrian Littlefield, the former pastor of a Methodist congregation