Disappearing Earth: A novel

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"Splendidly imagined.... Thrilling" (Simon Winchester)

"A genuine masterpiece." (Gary Shteyngart)

Spellbinding, moving - evoking a fascinating region on the other side of the world - this suspenseful and haunting story announces the debut of a profoundly gifted writer.

One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern edge of Russia, two girls - sisters, eight and 11 - 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.

3 comments on “Disappearing Earth: A novel”

  1. DISAPPEARING EARTH: A NOVEL This is a unique and unusual novel. First of all, the story takes place on the Kamchatka Peninsula in northeastern Russia, a remote place so unlike those usually chosen for the backdrop of a story. Then the author, Julia Phillips, brings the tundra, the mountains, the entire locale, including its inhabitants, into sharp focus. One can smell the water, feel the snow and look up a mountain via prose that shows and shows and shows. No telling here (she felt, she thought, etc).*Then,...

  2. A Web Of Connections Phillips explores the cold and bitter region of Kamchatka In Disappearing Earth. She describes the interplay between the indigenous people, the people left behind by the Soviets and the newcomers to the region. The novel centers round two young girls who were abducted and the effect it had on those involved. Through their reactions. Philips reveals the socio-economic structure of the region and the impact of the fall of the Soviet Union. The writing is literate, even lyrical. The author's...

  3. Intriguing... Julia Phillips' 'Disappearing Earth' is debuting to outstanding reviews. And it deserves them.Phillips writes like a born storyteller - her style is both lucid and interesting. Her plotting is deft and her story unique.The novel begins on the isolated Kamchatka Peninsula in northeastern Russia. Two girls, aged 8 and 11 disappear after accepting a ride from a stranger. The close-knit community is devastated when the girls remain missing.Phillips moves on...

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