The Weight of Ghosts

The Weight of Ghosts is a lyrical memoir by an author struggling with the death of her older son and sifting through the details of her life.

The Weight of Ghosts is a circling of grief following the death of the author’s older son when he was twenty-one, a horror that was compounded by her younger son’s drug use, the country’s slow eruption as it dealt with its own brokenness, and reckoning the author had to do regarding her own story. The Weight of Ghosts is a lyrical reclaiming and an insistence by the author that she own the rights to her story, which is American flavored with an unreleasing elsewhere. The Weight of Ghosts is an immigrant story and a love story. While it is raw and honest and tragic, it is also a hopeful, funny, and original telling that demonstrates the strength of the human spirit, while offering a vocabulary for these most unmanageable human experiences.


“Equal parts devastating and life-affirming, Laila Halaby’s memoir offers wisdom and truth for everyone who has ever moved through a difficult time and shredded a skin to adapt. There are many layers to this story, all tied together by the clear, poetic language that is as musical as the birdsong that accompanies Halaby on her healing walks around Tucson. The Weight of Ghosts is a brave and remarkable achievement.”
—Alice Elliott Dark, author of Fellowship Point and In the Gloaming

“Beautiful and heartbreaking.”
—Randa Jarrar, author of Love Is An Ex-Country

A tile mosaic background in various shades of blue illustrate the ocean, with a protrusion resembling the bow of a boat emerging from the waves. "The Weight of Ghosts, a memoir by Laila Halaby" rests over the image.

Laila Halaby ( Author Website )

Publication Date: September 5, 2023

Genre/Imprint: Memoir, Red Hen Press

$17.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 9781636281346

Download the Press Kit Here