Synopses & Reviews
From the highly praised author of Spilling Clarence, a luminous novel about the joy of family and the perils of loving.
The Woodrow family is going to the circus to celebrate Greta's seventh birthday. When five-year-old brother James eagerly volunteers to join the magic act, his parents watch with pride as he climbs onto the stage alongside the clown. The trick is spectacular and applause rings through the crowd as James disappears--vanishing before their very eyes. The trouble is, James really did disappear . . . into thin air.
In the aftermath of James's disappearance, with the police investigation providing no clues, the laws of the universe come into question. His mother becomes lost in her dreams and his father becomes obsessed with the clown, while his big sister Greta sets out to figure out what happened.
A novel peppered with dreams, premonitions, and possible realities, The Disapparation of James is a work of enormous sensitivity, tenderness, and wit.
"Alternative realities and parallel plot lines coexist in Ursu's surreal but psychologically acute second novel....Ursu wins the reader over with her humane wisdom and charming vision of the limitless possibilities of a child's imagination." Publishers Weekly
From the highly praised author of Spilling Clarence comes a luminous novel about the joy of family and the perils of loving. The Woodrow family begins to fall apart when five-year-old James climbs onto the stage at a circus and joins the magic act. The trouble is, James really "did" disappear vanishing before their very eyes.
The Woodrow family is at the circus to celebrate Greta's seventh birthday. When a clown asks for a volunteer from the audience, the parents are shocked when James, their extremely shy five-year-old, raises his hand. James thrives in the spotlight, and as the clown leads him through the routine, the parents glow with pride as the audience cheers for their son. The cheers turn into thundering applause as the act culminates in spectacular fashion, with James vanishing before their very eyes. The trouble is that James really does vanish--poof--into thin air.
As the police and media descend on the Woodrows, they feel that the laws of the universe have shattered. How can you solve a puzzle with no logic? As young Greta sets out to discover what really happened to her brother, each family member grapples with the joys and perils of loving, the persistence of loss, and the magic of everyday life.
About the Author
Anne Ursu is the author of Spilling Clarence. She has worked at a major book retailer, as the theater critic for City Pages (Minneapolis), and as an arts writer for the Portland Phoenix (Maine). She lives in Mountain View, California.