the year of silence. kevin brockmeier.


Moments of mysterious silence. ALL SILENT. And then it’s gone. Leaving everyone wondering and feeling a weird sense of loss. Like someone or something had jerked them away from a warm light they didn’t know they were moving toward.

It seems appropriate and eerie that I should read Kevin Brockmeier’s “The Year of Silence” today. (The short story originally appeared in Ecotone but it came to me as part of The Best American Short Stories series…)

If you’re facing me when you speak, I can hear you. I can even make out what might be voices in the next room. Though I can’t discern individual words or owners. But the running of the day noises are lost to me right now. Muffled by that sound of silence…ringing, ringing, ringing. Ugh!

It’s like having my head under water and being chased around with a dog whistle that I can actually hear all at once. Tinnitus seems to be a symptom of this some-kind-of-bug that’s set up house in my body these last three weeks.

It’s not an enjoyable feeling. But it certainly went a long way to making me appreciate and see the genius in the little piece of science fiction that is “The Year of Silence”. A quick google of the author tells me he’s with Random House. It also tells me his novel “A Brief History of the Dead” is one I’ll want to pick up.

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