She bit into her cigar

This is how acclaimed poet and translator Idra Novey‘s debut novel, WAYS TO DISAPPEAR, begins:

“In a crumbling park in the crumbling back end of Copacabana, a woman stopped under an almond tree with a suitcase and a cigar. She was a round woman with a knob of gray hair pinned at the nape of her neck. After staring for a minute up into the tree, she bit into her cigar, lifted her suitcase onto the lowest branch, and climbed up after it.”

People: She had me at “bit into her cigar.” I am over the moon, over the almond tree, to be doing publicity for this book along with Katharine Meyers, dynamo publicist at Little, Brown.


Here’s the story: Celebrated Brazilian writer Beatriz Yagoda, is last seen holding a suitcase and a cigar and climbing into an almond tree. In snowy Pittsburgh, her American translator, Emma, learns her author has disappeared and immediately jumps on a plane bound for Rio. Emma teams with Beatriz’s children (practical/cynical Raquel and sexy/hot Marcus) to find her, and to staunch the colorful demands of her outstanding affairs – namely one rapacious loan shark with a zeal for severing body parts, and the washed up, disillusioned editor who launched Beatriz’s career many years ago.


WAYS TO DISAPPEAR is a madcap mystery/romance/noir novel to love — You can see more at Idra Novey’s website including a spectacular list of early quotes from Karen Russell, Leslie Jamison, Francisco Goldman, Rivka Galchen and other arbiters of good taste.

Next February, when it’s cold and snowy and miserable, hear me now: you’ll be reading about Beatriz Pagoda and wishing you were hiding out on a Brazilian beach with her.


The debut novel from Idra Novey

Little, Brown & Co / February 9, 2016

(Note to Media/Critics/Reviewers/Editors: We are sending galleys out this week and next. Take it with you on your dog days of August vacation and let me know what you think).