Vanishing and Other Stories
By Deborah Willis
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062007520, 320pp.)
Publication Date: September 2010
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A French teacher who collects fiancÉs; a fortune-teller who fails to predict the heartbreak of her own daughter; an aging cowboy seduced by a city girl . . . these are some of the unforgettable people who live in these pages.
In Vanishing and Other Stories, secrets are both kept and unearthed, and lives are shaped by missing lovers, parents, and children. With wisdom and dexterity, moments of dark humor, and a remark- able economy of words, Deborah Willis captures an incredible array of characters that linger in the imagination and prove that nothing is ever truly forgotten.
Deborah Willis's work has appeared in the Bridport Prize Anthology, Event, and Grain, and she was a winner of PRISM International's annual fiction prize. Short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, Vanishing and Other Stories is her first book of fiction.
- In each story, someone leaves and someone is left behind. Are the characters who are left depicted as strong or weak? Damaged, angry, resigned? What about the characters who leave?
“The emotional range and depth of these stories, the clarity and deftness, is astonishing.”
“Arresting. . . . Her words feel essential and elemental. She is one of those writers who makes fiction feel less of a genre than a language unto itself. . . . Charming, warm and humane.”
“The stories in VANISHING show the magic of fiction at its best: fully realized worlds inseparable from the uncanny fact that they exist as mere words, magnificently strung together. Willis’s creative sleight-of-hand illuminates human intricacies as if tapping directly into your own.”
-Globe and Mail, One of Jim Bartley's Top Five Books of the Year
“Flecked with welcome humour. . . . Equally salty-sweet. . . . Her attentiveness to detail and her succession of insights about the small moments people share and the consequences of individual choices keep us turning pages, enthralled.”
“A remarkably accomplished collection. . . . Economical, artful description. With her stories, Willis boldly inhabits the skin of all sorts, of all genders. . . . Her talent and skill are nothing short of formidable. . . . Accomplished, edgy, dark stories.”
“Spare, haunting and insightful, these stories are wonderfully wrought snap shots about human frailty and loss that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.”
“A remarkable new writer, Willis delivers 14 lovely tales and countless vivid moments in her first fiction collection....Readers will feel the joy of discovery in reading an emerging writer whose work will crowd our bookshelves for years to come.”