top of page


A hit-and- run accident on an empty road pulls a young girl’s family apart. With the disappearance of her father from Chicago, Mona’s task is to make herself whole while holding on to her little sister, her mother and her secret memories. The Great Recession has begun and the only work Mona’s mother, Liz, can find is doing trashouts—cleaning out foreclosed homes. Traveling to Florida, Richard seeks shelter with an uncle from the carnival world. Mona is the photographer, recording a world in decline. When We Disappear is a story about the cost of silence, the sustaining power of art, and one moment that changes many lives.

When We Disappear cover


When We Disappear is a singularly gorgeous meditation on the wild complexities of family life. Lise Haines is a wonder, and this is her most thrilling book to date.”
- Laura van den Berg

When We Disappear tells the story of a family and a country fallen on hard times, and burdened by the weight of the past. Lise Haines is a novelist of great empathy and penetrating insight.”
- Tom Perrotta

When We Disappear is a remarkable novel that does what only great fiction can do: it explores the profound interaction between our individual inner lives and the outer world, particularly that most immediate and influential corner of the world, family.  And great fiction this is. Lise Haines has long been one of my favorite writers. When We Disappear reveals her at the peak of her prodigious power."
- Robert Olen Butler

“I’ve been a fan of Lise Haines since reading her early novel Small Acts of Sex and Electricity. I must admit that I wondered if she could ever top that effort, but I’m pleased to report that in her surprising and expansive new novel When We Disappear, she has succeeded magnificently.  The prose here is as energetic as in that early book, and if anything the story and the characters are even more compelling. This is a moving piece of fiction from a writer at the zenith of her impressive powers. I loved it.”
- Steve Yarbrough

bottom of page