Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The Vanishing by Deborah Willis
The opening story, "Vanishing" is my favorite. In this story, a playwright father and husband leaves his house one day, never to return. The story follows his wife and daughter throughout their lives after this event, outlining the various ways that his disappearance changes their lives, even decades later. The deftness Willis demonstrates in this outline of all the repercussions caused by his decision to leave brings the story close to the reader, and makes them spend time thinking of how their life would change without their loved ones close at hand.
In this first book of fiction, Deborah Willis displays the insight into human decisions that has marked her previous work. She won the PRISM International annual fiction prize. She was long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction. Her work can also be found in The Bridport Prize Anthology, Event, and Grain. This book is recommended for readers interested in determining how we relate to each other, and what it means when the human connections are broken, either through actions or physical space.