Original title: Sa disparition
“An authentic, revolting, and absolutely necessary story. The deft and intimate narrative navigates between concerns, questioning, empathy, documented facts and gentle nods to other works to swirl sparks of awareness that settle lightly on an ending one would hope would be soothing.”—Fabulations of a French teacher
“It would be wrong to think that this novel gives in to pathos. Despite the seriousness of its subject and the drama experienced by its narrator, the tone is often comical, poetic, multiplying the allusions to the classics of the genre, from Sherlock Holmes to Maigret, via Hercule Poirot. […] And for a first novel, it is a real tour de force.”—Page by page
Her Disappearance denounces the way in which the state and society as a whole instrumentalize and commodify the elderly. It is a novel that personalizes and humanizes the plight of an aging population.
This touching novel is at once a portrait of a marginalized social class and a young girl’s homage to her grandmother. The narrator learns about the realities of life in a long-term care facility and meets a rag-tag band of residents on the fringes of society. Drugged and often pushing back against orders, they prove much less docile than they seem.
The book offers a critique of our current society’s treatment of the elderly. The text is political and biting, at times humorous and moving, and flirts between crime fiction, fantasy, and social satire. Woven from snippets of real life—interviews with the residents of long-term care facilities, government policies, agency communiqués, news reports—it reveals the cracks in an already shaky system that emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A must-read that addresses some of life’s most weighty topics—old age, death, grieving, medical negligence, senior citizens’ gradual descent into obsolescence and the suffering and isolation they endure.