by Michael Deagler
Chris Abani writes about the lost. His books chronicle the second lives of the dispossessed, the far-from-home, the spiritually dead, and, at times, the physically dead. His settings, even when of this world, take on a ghostliness that corresponds to the Not-in-Kansas-anymore psychological states of his characters. In his first two major novels, Abani tackled Lagos (GraceLand) and Los Angeles (The Virgin of Flames), but he has found perhaps the most charismatic city of lost souls yet for the setting of his newest offering: The Secret History of Las Vegas.