In it, Chaon says that he thinks of his stories as “ghost stories in which the ghost never appears” (a line he apparently borrowed from horror writer Peter Straub). It’s a great description of his work and the haunting, unsettling tone he strikes.
If you don’t know his work, run out and pick up his great short story collection, Among the Missing. His one real horror story (that I’m aware of), The Bees, was one of the two or three best stories in the McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales that came out last year.
I love the idea of a ghost story minus the ghost. Maybe this is why I don’t like much modern horror fiction?