Ghosts of the past: The Field, by Robert Seethaler, reviewed

Give dead bones a voice and they speak volumes: George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo was clamorous with the departed having their say. Edgar Lee Masters, 100 years earlier, startled the American literary world with Spoon River Anthology, poems that were miniature autobiographies of the occupants of a small Illinois graveyard. Now, The Field by the Austrian novelist Robert Seethaler has the post-lifers of a German town delivering their own epitaphs. In a neglected corner of an old cemetery a man sits on a bench, listening to the people whose resting place this is. Who they were. The lives they led. Not damned souls from Dante’s circles, or creatures in