Called a “gorgeous debut” by Best American Short Stories-author Peter Orner, Laurie Ann Doyle’s new story collection is linked by what of us know but never talk about: people don’t become fully visible until they disappear. And they can disappear in so many ways.
In these twelve stories all set in and around San Francisco, a cast of memorable characters struggle to fill the void of a missing love one. From the newly married couple anxiously searching for a brother who simply didn’t come home one night, to the San Francisco businesswoman increasingly obsessed with the high school friend whose mother drove the girls apart years before, to the insurance clerk on her way to meet her son’s lost birthmother, Doyle’s writing vividly evokes the loss and liberation absence can bring. In “Or Best Offer,” finalist for the Rick DeMarinis Short Story Award, an introverted San Francisco librarian unexpectedly finds love while selling his ex-wife’s used car. When she talks him into taking a huge risk, his life will never be the same.
Praise for World Gone Missing
“World Gone Missing offers astute and sensitive portrayals of people who desire connection, hope, renewal, and, even, resolutions to all that cannot be resolved. Laurie Ann. Doyle’s voice is self-assured and compelling, and she writes with a grace that is both refreshing and rare.”
—Edan Lepucki, New York Times bestselling author of California and Woman No. 17
“Doyle shows real range in this collection, and she doesn’t flinch when rendering emotionally complex trajectories. I read this in a single sitting, which might be the biggest compliment to pay an author.”
—Joshua Mohr, bestselling author of Sirens
“A plain spoken, direct, and emotionally resonant collection of stories, World Gone Missing is a gorgeous debut. It’s also an honest homage to a rapidly changing San Francisco.”
—Peter Orner, author of Am I Alone Here? and Esther Stories
“Laurie Ann Doyle understands how to structure a story so that it sneaks up on you and gives you a thump that leaves you breathless–breathless with wonder. In World Gone Missing, Doyle reveals the potent possibilities of missed connections, which can veer from loss and estrangement at one moment to just-close-enough to redemption at another.”
—Catherine Brady, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
“In World Gone Missing, we are swept along by these beautifully crafted stories, full of surprising truths that carry an exhilarating punch.”
—Nina Schuyler, author of the award-winning novel, The Translator