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Days in the History of Silence

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From the acclaimed Nordic Council Literature Prize winner, a story that reveals the devastating effects of mistaking silence for peace and feeling shame for inevitable circumstances
Eva and Simon have spent most of their adult lives together. He is a physician and she is a teacher, and they have three grown daughters and a comfortable home. Yet what binds them together isn’t only affection and solidarity but also the painful facts of their respective histories, which they keep hidden even from their own children. But after the abrupt dismissal of their housekeeper and Simon’s increasing withdrawal into himself, the past can no longer be repressed.
Lindstrøm has crafted a masterpiece about the grave mistakes we make when we misjudge the legacy of war, common prejudices, and our own strategies of survival.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jul 01, 2013 – Eva’s elderly husband, Simon, has gradually stopped speaking—but as she recalls their life histories, we realize his silence may not be as inexplicable as it seems. Is Simon’s muteness a product of dementia, “a kind of wasteland where one’s personality is deleted,” or a revelation of his essentially silent inner self? Eva and Simon spent a lifetime keeping secrets from their daughters, including his childhood hiding from the Nazis, and her son from another relationship given away for adoption. But silence does not erase: ghosts remain, demanding to be confronted. This remarkable novel, winner of the 2012 Nordic Council Literature Prize, explores the theme of silence in many different forms—a children’s game, a refuge, a lie, a punishment, a solution—and shows its impact on those who long to be spoken to. For Eva, shut out of Simon’s inner world, “It is not simply the feeling that he is no longer there. It is the feeling that you are not either.” Lindstrom (The Guests) works in associations and superimpositions, like “a photograph that is overexposed and shows two subjects, melding in an accidental combination. As your memories do in your consciousness.” The prose is simple and elegant, revealing an extraordinary talent.

Customer Reviews

OK, but overlong

Could have relayed the message in a much more economical and powerful way.

Days in the History of Silence
View In iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Aug 27, 2013
  • Publisher: Other Press
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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