A debut novel about the disappearance of a famous Brazilian novelist and the young translator who turns her life upside down to follow her author's trail.
Deep in gambling debt, the celebrated Brazilian writer Beatriz Yagoda is last seen holding a suitcase and a cigar and climbing into an almond tree. She abruptly vanishes.
In snowy Pittsburgh, her American translator, Emma, hears the news and, against the wishes of her boyfriend and Beatriz's two grown children, flies immediately to Brazil. There, in the sticky, sugary heat of Rio, Emma and her author's children conspire to solve the mystery of Yagoda's curious disappearance and staunch the colorful demands of her various outstanding affairs: the rapacious loan shark with a zeal for severing body parts and the washed-up and disillusioned editor who launched Yagoda's career years earlier.
Idra Novey's exhilarating debut is an international romp: a madcap blend of mystery, romance, noir, and humor.
"With tremendous intelligence and wit, Ways to Disappear up-ends all the misleading memes about magical realism and in the process makes its own very real and unprecedented magic; this is a fantastic book." (Rivka Galchen)
"Ways to Disappear centers on the complicated and mysterious relationship between author and text and reader and writer. Idra Novey has given us a first rate novel of ideas, a book that is also funny, poignant, and profound." (Darcey Steinke)
"I fell immediately under the spell of this short, strange, glorious novel. When Beatriz Yagoda, famous writer, international treasure, and mother of two, disappears into a tree in Copacabana and takes an arboreal leave of absence from the world, her worried translator, Emma, takes it upon herself to track Beatriz down. In addition to being a sui generis detective story, Emma's quest to find her author is also a metaphysical journey along the fluid coastlines of life and art. Novey gives us a kaleidoscopic vision of a full universe and of her character's devious hearts." (Karen Russell)
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unique writing style and mystery
- Avid reader
Interesting, if somewhat rushed, story
- Beth Anne