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 the Baltimore region, channeling, in turns, the area’s 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.