“To Those Bounded has wide-reaching implications. The stories within reflect the burden of stereotypes and caricatures on the Black psyche--a familiar experience to anyone who has felt pressure to perform or behave in a certain way because it is what others have dictated. More importantly, the book speaks to the consequences of not behaving according to those expectations. To Those Bounded is structurally innovative, wide-reaching in its concept and thematic impact, and necessary within the public discourse so we can better understand the precarious and exceptional position Black men maintain in this country. The importance of Quist’s work is immeasurable.”
- Tyrese Coleman, author of How to Sit: A Memoir In Stories and Essays
"Rendered in prose that is lyrical and precise, To Those Bounded is an honest depiction of contemporary life in an apartheid America. While commenting on the state of our wider social reality, Donald Quist relentlessly explores his own vulnerabilities and fearlessly explores his own fears. Throughout this marrow-deep memoir, Quist manages to accomplish that elusive but essential literary goal to “memorialize the everyday” (in the words of Christina Sharpe) and to reckon with “ongoing and quotidian atrocity.” Out of the anguish, Quist salvages a semblance of hope."
- Phong Nguyen, author of The Bronze Drum
“Quist's precise composition illustrates the complexities of Black experiences in America in their sincerest forms--as greater cosmologies--birthed from the combustion of searing tongues and alchemic thoughts that allow us our rightful infinities, that dismantle, and what was bounded is now boundless.”
- Ron Austin, author of Avery Colt Is a Snake, a Thief, a Liar
"I feel like To Those Bounded really gives a damn about me because it articulates the overwhelming impossibility of growing up Black: the ways this country tells us we are simultaneously “too much” and “inadequate”, and how we have to constantly fight those impossible limitations instead of nurturing the full spectrum of our humanity. And I’m serious as hell when I say that every teacher, professor, police, social worker, etc. should read this book, as well as every Black person who wants/needs a little more care, understanding, and tenderness.”
- Steven Dunn, author of Water & Power
“"Every. Day." With these two words Donald Quist lays bare the bitter and intimate reality of being Black in America. This searing and essential book is both a lamentation and a triumphant reminder of the power of a single human voice. Like James Baldwin before him, Quist carries on the crucial and heartbreaking work of personal testimony in a time when it's needed the most."
- Robert Vivian, author of All I Feel is Rivers: Dervish Essays
"The words gathered into a book of fiction are often said to conjure up a world. Usually this is an exaggeration, but what Donald Quist has accomplished in For Other Ghosts is to truly give us what feels like an entire world's breadth and depth. The range, sensitivity, and brilliance of these stories are astounding. His readers are in for a mind-expanding experience."
- Jamel Brinkley, author of A Lucky Man
"This stellar, moving collection will find its readers among those willing to look into the darkness."
- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review).
"Elliptical, unconventional, tense, and beautiful, the stories in For Other Ghosts will haunt you. In his essays, and now in his fiction, Donald Quist has made it clear that he's a writer to watch."
- Martha Southgate, author of Third Girl from the Left
"I read For Other Ghosts with an increasing awe, my world expanding with each sentence. And that's what Donald Quist's writing does, enlarges your world as it enlivens it, making you aware of your connection to the things and people around you. This is a book written with passion and sensitivity for all that's human in us."
- Rion Amilcar Scott, author of Insurrections: Stories
"Donald Quist is a master of the unspoken, the way the heaviness of loss, conviction, and fear can both alter a life and haunt it. For Other Ghosts is a beautifully crafted collection that will make you question many things and illuminate many more."
- Natalia Sylvester, author of Everyone Knows You Go Home
2017 International Book Awards Finalist
2016 Foreword INDIES Book Award Finalist
Suspended between continents and cultures, Donald Quist charts the forceful undercurrents of an American identity. Through these essays Quist explores feelings of oppression and alienation as he wrestles with a single act of violence in a Washington, D.C. suburb, racial tensions in a rural South Carolina town, and the welcome anonymity of crowded Bangkok streets. These personal narratives are rich with Quist’s experience growing up as a person of color caught between parents, socioeconomic classes, and the countries he calls home.
“Quist’s collection of personal essays is tender, smart, funny, and rich with emotional truths and pop culture references.”
“Mastering narrative like other transnational writers such as Díaz and Jhumpa Lahiri, Quist captures coming-of-age dilemmas and family dramas with finesse. Yes, there are countless other essays, short stories, and poems out there currently examining the borderlands of human existence and racial identity. But readers should flock to Quist because he illustrates that being a decent human being isn’t simple or easy. Quist articulates not only his geographical, ethnic, and class complexities well, but explores the grey spaces in between with delicacy and verve.”
– Celeste Doaks, The Millions
“Into the cacophony steps Quist with the fierce voice and loving, but critical eye of a 21st century James Baldwin. And since a whisper draws more attention than a shout, by the time in one of his essays Quist states calmly, clearly, succinctly, “I am angry,” he has us all by the ears and the words resonate to a depth of earth-shaking proportions.”
— Sophfronia Scott, Assay Journal