Based on a chilling historical event, Ghost Woman is a tale of the arrogance of colonizers, rape, guilt, punishment and retribution. It is set on the Southern California coast during the early nineteenth century, when Catholic missionaries rounded up all the local Indians except those still living on San Nicolás Island. When this group is finally captured, one woman jumps from the boat and returns to the island for her missing child. The novel is that woman's story, and the story of the white family with whom her life becomes entangled after she too is taken from her island home.
Lawrence Thornton is the author of the novels Tales from the Blue Archives (1997), Naming the Spirits (1995), Under the Gypsy Moon (1991), and Imagining Argentina, which won the 1987 PEN/Hemingway Award and the PEN/USA West Award, as well as the Commonwealth Club Prize for first novel and the Shirley Collier Award. He also wrote Unbodied Hope: Narcissism and the Modern Novel (1984). He lives in Claremont, California.