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
CAI EMMONS is author of the novels HIS MOTHERS SON, THE STYLIST, WEATHER WOMAN, SINKING ISLANDS, UNLEASHED, and LIVID, as well as the story collection VANISHING. Cai’s short work has appeared in Ms. Magazine, TriQuarterly, Narrative, Arts and Culture, Electric Literature, and LitHub, among others. Her work has garnered numerous awards including an Oregon Book Award, the Leapfrog Press Fiction Prize, the shortlist for the Sarton Award, and has been translated into French and German. Formerly a playwright and screenwriter, she has taught at various universities, including, most recently at the University of Oregon’s Creative Writing Program. She is now a full-time writer.