In the first paragraph of Ways to Disappear, a famous Brazilian novelist climbs into a tree with a suitcase and a cigar, and disappears. Her American translator drops everything to follow her trail. Author Idra Novey has translated works by Brazilian authors such as Clarice Lispector, and employs this metafictional conceit remarkably well. Ways to Disappear is a clever and entertaining blend of mystery, romance, and (of course) surrealism, which also speculates on the nature of translation. It’s just shy of brilliant, and I enjoyed it immensely.
— Sara, Atlanta
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction and the Sami Rohr Prize in Fiction NPR Best Book of 2016 Buzzfeed Best Debut of 2016 BUST Magazine Best Book of 2016 Winner of the 2016 Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize for Fiction New York Times Editors' Choice 2016 Barnes & Noble Discover selection "An elegant page-turner....Charges forward with the momentum of a bullet." --New York Times Book Review For fans of Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette, an inventive, brilliant 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. Beatriz Yagoda was once one of Brazil's most celebrated authors. At the age of sixty, she is mostly forgotten-until one summer afternoon when she enters a park in Rio de Janeiro, climbs into an almond tree, and disappears. When her devoted translator Emma hears the news in wintry Pittsburgh, she flies to the sticky heat of Rio. There she joins the author's son and daughter to solve the mystery of Yagoda's disappearance and satisfy the demands of the colorful characters left in her wake, including a loan shark with a debt to collect and the washed-up editor who launched Yagoda's career. What they discover is how much of her they never knew. Exquisitely imagined and as profound as it is suspenseful, Ways to Disappear is at once a thrilling story of intrigue and a radiant novel of self-reckoning.
About the Author
Idra Novey is an award-winning poet and translator. Born in western Pennsylvania, she has since lived in Chile, Brazil, and New York. Her collection Exit, Civilian was selected for the 2011 National Poetry Series. She currently teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University. This is her first novel.