Julia Phillips is the debut author of the nationally bestselling novel Disappearing Earth, a finalist for the National Book Award. She is a Brooklyn native who studied Russian language in college at Barnard, and holds a special interest in Russia’s remote and sparsely populated Kamchatka peninsula. “Socially, politically, geographically, Kamchatka is full of extremes. The more I learned about it, the more the region’s isolation, natural beauty and dynamic history appealed. By the time I went to Kamchatka for over a year to write this book, I was convinced: this was the perfect setting for an enormous locked-room mystery,” she says. Disappearing Earth describes the abduction of two young girls and the yearlong process of local strangers who, in their own ways, were all affected by the crime. The story “dismantles the conventions of detective fiction,” says The New Yorker. The New York Times calls it “a superb debut…a nearly flawless novel.” A Fulbright fellow, Julia has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, The Moscow Times and The Paris Review.