Culture Street

Books

Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey

On August 8, 2016

By Sophia Whitfield

Ways to Disappear is Idra Novey’s debut novel. Born in Pennsylvania, she has lived in New York, Chile and Brazil. She has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and The Paris Review, her poetry has been translated into eight languages.

Novey’s novel begins with the strange disappearance of famous Brazilian novelist Beatriz Yagoda. She was last seen under a tree with a suitcase and a cigar. No one has seen or heard from her since.

Emma, Beatriz’s American translator, is cut adrift by her author’s disappearance. Her personal life is in turmoil; her partner is putting unwanted pressure on her to take the next step and settle down as a married couple. With the news of her beloved author’s disappearance Emma gets on a plane to Brazil.

Once there she realises that Beatriz has fled for good reason. She meets with Beatriz’s children, Marcus and Raquel, and soon discovers they are caught up in more than they can handle.

Novey explores corruption with a deft hand. The bizarre situation Emma finds herself in seems feasible through Novey’s vivid prose. Despite its undercurrent of crime and mystery, this is a fun read from an outstanding new author.

Buy the book in Australia here and in the UK here.

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