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Disappearing in Reverse

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Allie McFarland is the author of Disappearing in Reverse (UCalgary Press, 2020) and Pretty Delicate (AOS forthcoming, February 2023). She completed her MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan, where she wrote her SSRHC-funded and award-nominated thesis, Pretty Delicate. Allie is a bi settler from Treaty 7 territory (Calgary) who currently resides on the unceded territories of the Scia’new First Nation with her partner, chubby cat, and excitable puppy. She runs a not-for-profit consignment bookstore on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen people of Vancouver Island.

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Disappearing in Reverse Cover final Feb1

Part of the University of Calgary Press's Brave & Brilliant series

September 15, 2020

Devin died five years ago. She got an infection, lost her arm, and died. How can Devin be in a picture posted online today?

This picture of Devin, alive when she should not be, triggers a journey of grief and discovery as the young woman convinced that she caused Devin’s death sets out to discover whether Devin may actually be alive, and whether she can be forgiven. Along the way the unnamed narrator steals identities, picking up and discarding personas as she struggles with her guilt and to come to terms with her own bisexuality. As her sense of self unravels, she meets Calgary hippies, a car thief, and an ice cream loving corpse.

Disappearing in Reverse is a mystery, a road novel, and a coming-of-age story. Blending past and present, the self and the other, this novel(la) crosses genres and defies categorization, asking to be met and addressed on its own terms. Fearless and vulnerable, unabashed and wounded, this is a story of the liminal places where expectations falter and the unexpected thrives.

"Allie McFarland has written a book that articulates the unease of new adulthood in a visceral way, mapping grief across Western Canada with a sharp eye to detail, creating an instant staple in Western-Canadian literature."

Erin Emily Ann Vance, author of Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers

Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun

Jesse Holth, Canthius

Jade Wallace, Capsule Review 054 for Carousel Magazine

Disappearing in Reverse available in-store and online

Shelf Life Books, Calgary, AB


Pages on Kensington, Calgary, AB


McNally Robinson,

Saskatoon, SK


Munro's Books, Victoria, BC


Bolen Books, Victoria, BC