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June 5, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Julia Phillips discusses her new novel, Disappearing Earth.
Praise for Disappearing Earth
“I cannot speak too highly of Julia Phillips’s thrilling, impeccably written and splendidly imagined story, set with rigorous attention to detail in one of the most volcanically dangerous and beautifully remote corners of the planet. An exciting beginning from an author whose literary future looks set to be stellar.”—Simon Winchester
“Julia Phillips is at once a careful cartographer and gorgeous storyteller. Written with passion and patience, this is the story of a people and the land that shapes them. A mystery of two missing girls burns at the center of this astonishing debut, and the complexity of ethnicity, gender, hearth and kin illuminates this question and many more.”—Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage
“A genuine masterpiece, but one that is easily consumed in a feverish stay-up-all-night bout of reading pleasure. It’s as much a portrait of humanity as of a small Kamchatka community.” —Gary Shteyngart
“A feat of literary suspense. I felt like a wide-eyed kid reading Julia Phillips’s Disappearing Earth. I could live in her portrayal of this remote part of the world forever.”—Sloane Crosley, author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake
About Disappearing Earth
One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern edge of Russia, two girls–sisters, eight and eleven–go missing. In the ensuing weeks, then months, the police investigation turns up nothing. Echoes of the disappearance reverberate across a tightly woven community, with the fear and loss felt most deeply among its women.
Taking us through a year in Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth enters with astonishing emotional acuity the worlds of a cast of richly drawn characters, all connected by the crime: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother. We are transported to vistas of rugged beauty–densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes, and the glassy seas that border Japan and Alaska–and into a region as complex as it is alluring, where social and ethnic tensions have long simmered, and where outsiders are often the first to be accused.
In a story as propulsive as it is emotionally engaging, and through a young writer’s virtuosic feat of empathy and imagination, this powerful novel brings us to a new understanding of the intricate bonds of family and community, in a Russia unlike any we have seen before.