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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, " 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


Brace yourself for Jaimee Wriston Colbert’s Wild Things. These linked rural noir stories unfold their wings near the Susquehanna River in a landscape graced by wildlife and haunted by lost prosperity, “business after business failing, padlocking their doors, factories with their boarded up windows, just another has-been town slowly shutting down.” Those left behind must navigate the meth labs and broken families and their own oversized yearning. “Abstinence may lead you to god,” says one of Colbert’s women, “but it’s hunger that’ll get you fed.” These characters sing their hunger and dance their hard-won wisdom. These brilliant, surprising stories defy gravity and take flight.

Bonnie Jo Campbell, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, Once Upon A River, and National Book Award finalist for
American Salvage

Jaimee Wriston Colbert is a storyteller of the first order, and Wild Things is immensely rewarding. A must read for short story lovers, the voice not only captivatingly original, but downright addictive. I did not want the collection to end, and for days afterward I could still hear that pitch-perfect blend of lyric and narrative whispering in my ear. Without question this is her finest book so far!

Jack Driscoll, The World of A Few Minutes Ago

A tremendous new collection from a writer with extraordinary powers of observation and an empathetic understanding of the thorny, heartbreaking human condition. There’s so much reverence for the world in Wild Things, so much intelligence and beauty on every page. A stunning book.

Christine Sneed, Little Known Facts and The Virginity of Famous Men

Jaimee Wriston Colbert has written a book of deeply affecting elegies to the scattered remnants of wilderness, the some few wild things we still live among: blackbird, brown trout, reef shark, teenage girl. By turns luminous and razor-sharp, in landscapes as diverse as a shimmering beach in Oahu and a crumbling mill town in upstate New York, these characters find comfort, not only in the “peace of wild things” but also in their scrap and bite, their tenacious urge toward survival in an absurdly hostile world.

Pam Houston, Contents May Have Shifted and Cowboys Are My Weakness
Colbert (Shark Girls, 2009) hones her clarion vision of the interconnectedness and vulnerability of life in this edgy, knowing, situationally complex, and emotionally intricate short story collection. …. Colbert’s divining sense of brokenness and our longing for wholeness makes for extraordinarily incisive, stirring, funny, and haunting all-American stories.”

—Donna Seaman – Booklist, Advanced Review of Wild Things


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