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"...[an] ambitious and moving novel...”

For her debut novel, Katy Yocom has created a wonderful piece of environmental fiction. She weaves together a tale about the past, about family, about forgiveness, about the ties that bind people to their culture, and about a magnificent endangered species: the Indian tiger. That she manages to do all this without putting a foot wrong anywhere is a testimony to her talent and to her passion for a world in which all creatures deserve to live their lives without fear. It’s a book whose characters and subject matter will remain with you long after you reach its conclusion.
— Elizabeth George, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Punishment She Deserves
Sensual and sensory, lush with longing, Three Ways to Disappear is an assured and lovely debut novel. You’ll find yourself luxuriating in its language and carried away by its complex and endearing characters. There isn’t one wasted word, and I loved them all.
— Silas House, author of Southernmost
Three Ways to Disappear begins with a focused lens on the endangered Bengal tiger then expands its reach with every page to reveal the interconnectedness of the natural world and fragility of all life. Weaving together the worn threads of ecological balance, this ambitious and moving novel addresses scarcity, climate change, family dynamics, cultural conflict, human accountability, women’s economic autonomy, and most of all, love, in all its wondrous forms. This is a story not just about saving the tigers, but ourselves.
— JoeAnn Hart, author of Addled and Float
Set partly in India, in a tiger preserve, and partly in the middle-class America of Louisville, Katy Yocom’s courageous novel Three Ways to Disappear brings us closer to our ancient kinship with the environment. Can there be not just a mystical connection but a net of shared dependencies among species? Whether in India or Kentucky, how does the traditional family unit both imprison and sustain its members? Yocom offers an exciting and suspenseful, high-stakes narrative in language both rich and precise. Her characters are as real as the person sitting next to you or looking at you in the mirror.
— Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife; Abundance, a Novel of Marie Antoinette; and The Fountain of St. James Court, or Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman

Download a PDF excerpt.

Reviewers may request a review copy from Ashland Creek Press.

Synopsis

Leaving behind a nomadic and dangerous career as a journalist, Sarah DeVaughan returns to India, the country of her childhood and a place of unspeakable family tragedy, to help preserve the endangered Bengal tigers. Meanwhile, at home in Kentucky, her sister, Quinn—also deeply scarred by the past and herself a keeper of secrets—tries to support her sister, even as she fears that India will be Sarah’s undoing.

As Sarah faces challenges in her new job—made complicated by complex local politics and a forbidden love—Quinn copes with their mother’s refusal to talk about the past, her son’s life-threatening illness, and her own increasingly troubled marriage. When Sarah asks Quinn to join her in India, Quinn realizes that the only way to overcome the past is to return to it, and it is in this place of stunning natural beauty and hidden danger that the sisters can finally understand the ways in which their family has disappeared—from their shared history, from one another—and recognize that they may need to risk everything to find themselves again.

With dramatic urgency, a powerful sense of place, and a beautifully rendered cast of characters revealing a deep understanding of human nature in all its flawed glory, Katy Yocom has created an unforgettable novel about saving all that is precious, from endangered species to the indelible bonds among family.

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Honors for Three Ways to Disappear:
Winner, Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature
Finalist, Dzanc Books Disquiet Open Borders Book Prize
Finalist, UNO Press Publishing Lab Prize