“Meissner has the storyteller’s gift for creative living characters, living speech, living emotions, living drama. He knows his small town baseball, but beyond that, he knows the human spirit.” —Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried
“In Spirits in the Grass, Meissner explores the hidden heart of America’s Midwest—scratching hard at his character’s dreams to release their nightmares, their truths. His words are supple as grass, his language a graceful dance that is a pure joy to read.” —Susan Power, author of The Grass Dancer
“This novel is a rare achievement, an extraordinary story of a man’s desire to resurrect his past, to redeem and restore the world he knew as a boy, while he confronts the crimes around him. Juxtaposing baseball, Native American history and religion, and small town life, Meissner has created a genuine original.” —Jonis Agee, University of Nebraska, author of South of Resurrection and The River Wife
“Bill Meissner’s Spirits in the Grass is nothing short of stunning, his mastery of the prose is evident in virtually every sentence as it intensifies and heightens the intrigue of the wonderful story being told. This is a vibrant and original novel, a triumph, and Meissner’s linguistic veracity places him among the finest prose stylists writing today.” —Jack Driscoll, author of How Like an Angel
In Spirits in the Grass we meet Luke Tanner, a thirty-something baseball player helping to build a new baseball field in his beloved hometown of Clearwater, Wisconsin. Luke looks forward to trying out for the local amateur team as soon as possible. His chance discovery of a small bone fragment on the field sets in motion a series of events and discoveries that will involve his neighbors, local politicians, and the nearby Native American reservation. Luke’s life, most of all, will be transformed. His growing obsession with the ball field and what’s beneath it threatens his still fragile relationship with his partner, Louise, and challenges Luke’s assumptions about everyone, especially himself.