Recent Work By Christine Sneed

In Vanishing Acts, Jaimee Wriston Colbert’s new novel and sixth work of fiction, the author takes us to the Big Island of Hawai’i, where she grew up body-surfing, listening to stories about the volcano goddess Pele, and later as an adult, on return trips from the mainland, observing the alarming signs of her beloved island’s changing ecosystem, due to drought and other environmental stressors.

Through her storytelling lens, Colbert chronicles the effects of the traumatic transformation Hawai’i is undergoing as its rare species and forests disappear, a theme that also informs her fifth book, Wild Things, a linked story collection set in upstate New York.

Mr. Fulger called when he wanted to see her and she obliged.  For a while it was all very matter-of-fact, like a visit to the library, the reasons for going unequivocal.  Regret rarely played a part.  And there was little premeditation, as far as she could tell.  Mr. Fulger, when not with her, resided on a plane that did not intersect her own, and after her initial period of infatuation had worn off, she had ceased to hope they might meet by chance.  She had tried for a few weeks to find where he lived and worked, but he had remained unreachable, her attempts at tracing him fruitless, and soon she began to feel ridiculous to have spent the effort searching for him–in their tremendous haystack of a city, he was smaller than a needle.  In any case, she did not know what she had expected–certainly not a marriage proposal, nor more permanent terms for their involvement.  It seemed to her that primarily she had wanted acknowledgment of his steadfast desire for her, however infrequently this desire was manifested.  At times she saw him twice a week; others, twice a month.  Even when she was dating another man–a man closer to her age who sought her out in earnest, publicly and otherwise–she answered Mr. Fulger’s phone calls with a yes that triggered the naming of a meeting place, almost always a restaurant or hotel close to the center of the city, rarely the same one.

Are you sure that your stories aren’t based on yourself or on people you know?

They’re not.  I really do make things up.  I’m not doing that “write what you know” b.s.  That’s what my diary’s for, so if you need to fall asleep fast, that’s the thing to read.  (I’m not saying you should read my diary.  It’s full of embarrassing, narcissistic crap.  Boring, yes, but embarrassing too).