Evocative and passionately written, Vanishing and Other Stories explores emotional and physical absences, the ways in which people leave, are left, and whether or not it's ever possible to move on. Readers will encounter a skinny, freckled ice-cream scooper named after Nina Simone, a vanishing visionary of social utopia, a French teacher who collects fiancés, and a fortune-telling mother who fails to predict the heartbreak of her own daughter.
In the title story, a writer vanishes, leaving unfinished work and unanswerable questions. In another story, a girl who can't forget a long-ago trauma faces the fact that her mother is losing her memory. After his wife leaves, an aging cowboy is seduced by a city girl. A doctor, mourning a loss, takes up blackjack. In these stories, secrets are both kept and unearthed, and lives are shaped by missing lovers, parents and children.
Written with a remarkable economy of words, dark humour, and wisdom and dexterity far beyond her years, Deborah Willis captures an incredible array of characters that will linger in the imagination "like the smell of lavender and molasses," proving that nothing is ever truly forgotten.
"The emotional range and depth of these stories, the clarity and deftness is astonishing."
- Alice Munro