Demons in the Spring
Akashic Books
Joe Meno
“Ghost Plane”

“Ghost Plane” is from Joe Meno’s collection, DEMONS IN THE SPRING (Akashic Books). Meno’s short fiction has been published in McSweeney’s, TriQuarterly, Mid-American Review, and other journals. He is a winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, and was a finalist for The Story Prize. He is the author of two story collections and six novels, including MARVEL AND A WONDER, which was selected for several Best Book lists, 2015. He lives in Chicago.


Meno explained how he came to write “Ghost Plane:” At a party, I overheard someone telling a story about a young American woman who had tried to commit suicide overseas and who had a hard time boarding an airplane because of it. I began to think about who the girl might be. I started writing the story to figure her out and also as a response to a certain kind of girl that seemed to become popular in the early part of the 2000’s: one who was beautiful and a little bored and also sexually permissive, the kind featured in various reality shows, Paris Hilton, etc.


You could see a number of these young women taking on that particular role, and even though there might be a real intelligence or charm there, the role they had chosen for themselves was preventing them from being anything other than a dull sexual item. There is something incredibly attractive and tragic about that person and I wanted to explore that. Also, my wife and I had been to Belize, and the juxtaposition of the beauty of the natural world with the decay of the city seemed like a fitting place to set a story that’s basically about finding something beautiful or surprising in someone you had already made your mind up about.

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