cover image Vanished: Stories

Vanished: Stories

Karin Lin-Greenberg. Univ. of Nebraska, $19.95 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-4962-3257-1

In Lin-Greenberg’s superb collection (after Faulty Predictions), dramatic scenes play out between students and teachers. Alice, a veteran college art teacher, wearily ferries her stuffed birds to the students’ studio for a drawing exercise. There, Alice notices the popular, younger art teacher gathering Alice’s own students for a different project when they should be drawing the birds, and Alice responds unexpectedly. In “Roland Raccoon,” an elderly middle school teacher keeps a blind and nearly deaf raccoon named Roland as a pet and brings him in for show and tell. In “Lost or Damaged,” the narrator, a high school student, follows the lead of her controlling best friend, Arielle. They observe a boy’s act of kindness toward new student Olga, and jealousy prompts Arielle to smear Olga’s reputation after she is made first chair in the orchestra instead of Arielle. The narrator is torn—she knows Olga suffers from Arielle’s insults, but feels tethered to her friend—up to a point. Lin-Greenberg’s flawless and insightful prose gives an acute sense of the characters’ perspectives as they change. This accomplished work is full of surprises. (Sept.)