Vanishing Acts

Wild Things

Shark Girls

Dream Lives of Butterflies

Climbing the God Tree

Sex, Salvation and the Automobile

 

VANISHING ACTS

  • Publisher: Fomite Press (March 1, 2018)
  • ISBN-10: (paper) 978-1-942515-76-0
    (ebook) 978-1-942515-98-2
  • Library of Congress: 2016961039
    Fiction, 322 pages
  • Retail Price: $15.95 paperback; $9.99 ebook

Vanishing Acts is the story of three generations of a troubled family, in the shadow of the Vietnam War to the 21st century perils of climate change and addiction, set in a Hawaii that is both fantastical and gritty in its portrayal of life down under the tropical dream. There was a time when sixteen year old Buddy’s life felt normal. Then an affair derails his parents marriage and his mother, with Buddy in tow, uproots their life in Maine to return to her childhood home in Volcano, Hawaii and care for her aging mother. Madge, a former 1960’s go-go dancer, is losing her grip on reality, as is Gwen, Buddy’s mother, who indulges in a steady cocktail of wine, Xanax, and Jesus. Meanwhile Buddy has become obsessed with one of his classmates, Marnie, whose fervent dream is to escape her broken family (and a damaging secret) to pursue a modeling career. She convinces Buddy to run away with her to Honolulu and live with her drug-dealer uncle. To find her son, Gwen grapples with the ghosts of her past and present, including her father, whose love of surfing and obsession with Houdini allowed him to become the ultimate escape artist.

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Publicist Promo for Vanishing Acts

Vanishing Acts dramatizes what doesn’t disappear: a mother’s love for her son and for her own mother, the wages of loyalty, the terror of abandonment, and the possibility of transformation.  Jaimee Wriston Colbert’s fierce intelligence is at work in every sentence of this deeply felt novel about generational trauma.  Once I started, I couldn’t stop reading and found myself gasping at the choices these fully realized characters make.  In this daring, beautifully executed novel Colbert shows us that whatever we imagined to be an illusion might be entirely real.

—Lee Upton, author of The Tao of Humiliation and Visitations: Stories

If serious writing attempts, as William Matthews says, "...to speak what
it feels like to be human," than lucky the reader who discovers Jaimee Wriston
Colbert's Vanishing Acts, her characters as compassionately rendered as any
I have encountered in a long time. As one of them muses, "...he should become
an artist and try at least [to] paint this thing, color its painful truth so others
could know it too." And now I do, having read this hauntingly beautiful novel,
the prose, sentence by sentence, resonant and as deeply considered as the
generational story it tells. I not only applaud its heart, and craft, and courage,
I do so loudly, gratefully.

– Jack Driscoll, The Goat Fish and the Lover’s Knot; The World of a Few Minutes Ago

 

 

 

All rights reserved. Please contact author for use of any part of this website or text herein at jwriston.colbert@gmail.com