Figuratively speaking, Blood for Ghosts takes for its theme the burial of the dead. The eight stories in the collection dramatize the many ways Texans in the 21st century struggle to give voice to their ancestors and the region's past, a task made increasingly difficult by the pressures of globalization, the lure of efficiency, and the claims of "progress." Such struggles are necessary, however, and are premised on the belief that the healthiest communities affirm a meaningful relationship with as much of the past as is possible. The collection's title makes a nod of the head toward Hugh Lloyd- Jones's fine study of ancient Greece and Book XI of The Odyssey, when Odysseus enacts a rite that summons the shades of the dead to drink the blood of sacrificed animals and so be given voice to communicate with the living. The collection's epigraph comes from the same scene in Book XI: and up out of Erebus they came/ flocking toward me now, the ghosts of the dead and gone.