Julia Phillips is a Fulbright fellow whose writing has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Atlantic, Slate, and The Moscow Times. She lives in Brooklyn.
After the Fall: Stories Amid the Echoes of Collapse
Respectively set in Bogota, Colombia and on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia during and soon after immense change in the civil order, the characters in Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ and Julia Phillips’ debut novels contend with the shock and aftershocks of societal disruption – affording the reader perspective about the strength of the girls and women in their stories who struggle to forge authentic lives despite the fragility of the failing systems they can no longer take for granted.
A jack of all trades and a master at none – books were his first love and served to impart a wanderlust. Miguel has lived in Tuscany, the West Indies, and the Far East. In Annapolis he was awarded his Master’s degree from St. John’s College’s Great Books Program. Father of two daughters and the husband of the DBF Program Director– and, hence, her primary reader – he gets to pull rank every now and then. You’re welcome.
One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern edge of Russia, two girls–sisters, eight and eleven–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. BUY THIS BOOK!