Check Out
The Bestselling Books of All Time
See the List

The Art of Vanishing

Best Seller
The Art of Vanishing by Laura Smith
Hardcover $25.00
Feb 06, 2018 | ISBN 9780399563584

Also available from:

See All Formats (2) +
  • Feb 06, 2018 | ISBN 9780399563584

    Also available from:

  • Feb 06, 2018 | ISBN 9780399563607

    Available from:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from The Art of Vanishing

Product Details


“Skillful and sensitive.” – The New York Times Book Review 

“Told with real insight and remarkable honesty . . . [The Art of Vanishing] interweaves biographical portraiture that is urgently personal and memoir that is deepened by historical exploration. Smith pushes literary boundaries.” –The Atlantic

“On the brink of her impending nuptials, Laura Smith finds herself enthralled by the disappearance of Barbara Newhall Follett, a trailblazing author and adventurer who left behind an unhappy marriage and vanished without a trace in 1939. Grappling with what the future will hold for her, the nature of marriage, and a yearning for some ephemeral idea of freedom, this cleverly-written memoir follows Smith as her restless musings twine with Follett’s trail, two kindred spirits finding one another across the span of time.” – Harper’s Bazaar

“A captivating read for everyone who has ever wondered what would happen if you could simply start over.” –HelloGiggles

‟The Art of Vanishing
 is captivating and ingenious—a biography, a memoir of a marriage, and an exploration of a few timelessly vexing questions: Is it possible to forge a life that combines adventure and stability? What role does fantasy play in our day-to-day? Where is the balance between autonomy and intimacy? Laura Smith is a beautiful writer, a sharp critic, and a great storyteller. Once I started reading this book I could not put it down.ˮ
—Kate Bolick, author of Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own

“A haunting and elegant meditation on restlessness, a fascinating literary mystery, and a bold exploration of marriage and wanderlust, this highly original and unsettling book will remain with you long after you finish it.ˮ —Katie Roiphe, author of Uncommon Arrangements  

“This is a book that comes from the most urgent and pure place: an obsession with an illusive person who you are sure will solve all the mysteries in your own life. Laura follows the trail to produce a rare book that’s both intimate and broad, suspenseful and quiet in all the best ways.”
–Hanna Rosin, host of Invisibilia and author of The End of Men

“Seductive . . . a riviting journey mapping the route of two restless women and their search for fulfillment.” –Publisher’s Weekly

“A bravely introspective tale of wanderlust and lustful wandering.” –Kirkus

Back to Top