Julia Phillips with Kira Jane Buxton
An utterly compelling debut novel, written by a U.S. writer and set on the Kamchatka Peninsula with a harrowing mystery unfolding that is particular to there -and yet has larger, universal resonance - is Disappearing Earth (Knopf) by Julia Phillips. “Accomplished and gripping . . . The volcano-spiked Kamchatka Peninsula in Far East Russia, where the tundra still supports herds of reindeer and the various Native groups who depend on them, is the evocative setting of Phillips’ novel. In fresh and unpredictable scenes depicting broken friendships and failed marriages, strained family gatherings, and rehearsals of a Native dance troupe, Phillips’ spellbinding prose is saturated with sensuous nuance and emotional intensity, as she subtly traces the shadows of Russia’s past and illuminates today’s daunting complexities of gender and identity, expectations and longing.” — Donna Seaman, Booklist.
“Julia Phillips is at once a careful cartographer and gorgeous storyteller. Written with passion and patience, this is the story of a people and the land that shapes them. A mystery of two missing girls burns at the center of this astonishing debut, and the complexity of ethnicity, gender, hearth and kin illuminates this question and many more.” —Tayari Jones.
Seattle writer Kira Jane Buxton will join her onstage in conversation. Her own debut novel, Hollow Kingdom (Grand Central), is due out in August.