Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Eight great novels where things disappear

Lincoln Michel is the author of Upright Beasts and the co-editor of the forthcoming crime anthology Tiny Crimes.

"The missing person is a classic mystery trope for a good reason," he writes at CrimeReads.
It immediately sets a story in motion while providing for a variety of plot paths. Is the person dead? Kidnapped? Running away? Hiding in plain sight? But people aren’t the only things that disappear in literature. Sometimes it is a vanishing cat or a disappearing novel that gets the story rolling.
One of "eight fantastic and strange novels that each have a unique spin on mysterious disappearances," according to Michel:
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

Yoko Ogawa’s dystopian fable is a novel where something disappears, then another thing, then another and another. Indeed, almost everything vanishes on the unnamed island society governed by a group of Orwellian “memory police” that can make objects disappear. Candies, music boxes, ribbons, even birds. Citizens simply wake up one day and the items are erased from both the world and people’s memories. Although the novel was published in Japan in the 1990s, it was translated into English this year (by Stephen Snyder) and feels especially prescient in a world where it’s increasingly hard to know what is real and what is fake.
Read about the other entries on the list at CrimeReads.

--Marshal Zeringue