Hailed as one of the most important Hispanic writers of his generation, Ilan Stavans is mostly known for his penetrating essays on culture. He is also a celebrated storyteller whose work has been translated into a dozen languages and has garnered numerous international awards. "The Disappearance: A Novella and Stories" contains three small, masterful gems. The novella "Morirse esta en hebreo," is a thought-provoking meditation on continuity and tradition among Mexican Jews that takes place just as a decades-long, one-party dictatorship is crumbling down. It is the basis for a critically-acclaimed Mexican feature film that will be released in the United States in late 2006. The volume also features "Xerox Man," an intriguing story about a book thief with a bizarre theological obsession, which was commissioned and broadcast by the BBC and has been widely anthologized. The title story "The Disappearance" is the resonant tale of a Belgian actor who kidnaps himself in an attempt to respond to neo-Nazi groups. Together, these three pieces offer an unforeseen vista of Jewish-Hispanic relations and confirm Stavans's reputation as a lyrical, daring, and original literary voice.