The stories in Get a Grip depict a range of imagined lives. There are Estonian brothers trekking from their blighted neighborhood to a college interview. There’s a TV meteorite hunter in town to search for otherworldly treasure. We meet a widow addicted to physical pain and a successful ad executive who loses all his worldly possessions in one day. All of the characters work out their struggles in a partly real and partly imagined Baltimore, channeling, in turns, its charm, its despair, its humor, its self-doubt, its compassion. Get a Grip is a book about who we are when the cameras are off and the phone has died.