The characters in these stories operate in a world in which their voices are not heard, and are navigating prickly paths, doing what they can to survive. An attorney, mother of twin babies, is destabilized when her husband is away, and comes to doubt she has a right to her own house; a young artist thinks she knows the score when she moves from LA to New York, only to be forced to look past stereotypes to discover what really matters; a documentary filmmaker, rattled by her recent divorce, visits her oldest childhood friend, who is several years into debilitating dementia, and realizes how quickly shared history can vanish; a woman in her twenties who feels on the outside of everything forms a manipulative friendship with a mother aggrieved by her daughter's recent death; and an office manager approaching middle age is taken aback when she realizes she isn't central in the lives of her young male employees, whom she always thought adored her. These five women's lives speak to the difficulty of honing a strong identity in a culture that consistently devalues women.
Sophisticated and bright with promise…these stories elucidate incredibly difficult-to-articulate topics such as jealousy, self-hatred, unlikely connection and friendship.… If a writer's job is to make the unseen visible, the stories in VANISHING are flashlights, illuminating the subtle, enormous tragedies we humans encounter every day.—Marie-Helene Bertino, author of 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas
Praise for Cai Emmons' novels
Gripping. Brings home the power and terror of maternal love. —O Magazine
Emmons…has an eye for the grating intimacy of small-town life and a fine ear for suggestive metaphors.… Unusual and memorable. —The Economist
Lovely writing… Emmons' emphasis is on her characters, and she draws them well. —Seattle Times
With family relations as twisted as a French braid and language as vivid as a platinum dye job, Emmons' potent novel features magnetic characters and complex and compelling secrets. mdash;Booklist
A gift of a book, an affecting story of violence and forgiveness.—Bookpage
Accomplished playwright and filmmaker Emmons tests chilly waters in this ambitious, unsettling debut.—Publishers Weekly
Gorgeous writing throughout makes for an unusually affecting and memorable debut. —Kirkus Reviews
Cai Emmons is the author of the novels His Mother's Son (which won an Oregon Book Award), The Stylist, and her newest, Weather Woman (fall 2018), about a meteorologist who discovers she has the power to change the weather. Emmons was formerly a playwright and screenwriter; her short fiction has appeared in such publications as TriQuarterly, Narrative, and Arts and Culture, among others. She has taught filmmaking at the University of Southern California and Orange Coast College, and creative writing and screenwriting at the University of Oregon.