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Painter of Silence: A Novel Hardcover – September 18, 2012
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“[An] accomplished work of fiction.” ―The New York Times
“The novel's magic lies in Harding's poignant but unsentimental portrayal of people who face such losses and yet find a kind of wholeness.” ―O, The Oprah Magazine
“Though Harding's novel is firmly set in historical time, which is Safta's reality, Tinu seems to exist on a different plane, and the multiple dimensions give the book a peculiar power.” ―Booklist
“Harding has created a memorable portrait in words of an exile from language.” ―Kirkus
About the Author
Georgina Harding is the author of the novels The Spy Game and The Solitude of Thomas Cave. She lives in London and the Stour Valley, Essex.
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Natalie Goldberg said recently in an interview that she thought writers were often people who hadn't been heard as a child. As someone who didn't "feel" heard, I think she's right -- and I think Georgina Harding captured the frustration, the persistence, and the joy of both parties when communication is achieved in unspoken conversations in "Painter of Silence"
Her language is sparse but scenes are crystal clear. Movement is measured and slow enough for ideas to sink in but fast enough to keep one's interest. This broadened my horizons considerable.
Throughout World War II and the Communist reign that follows, Augusten's reality is drawn only from inference.
A fascinating thread throughout this book is the perception that people around him have of this man. Each person projects the needs and the past onto him. He is the reflection of one woman's lost son, another's vanished lover, the absence of daughters now in prison. As he moves around Roumania, people speak to him, unloading their hearts to the man they know will not betray them.
We see the world through his eyes and at other times, the world and the perception of Augustus by those who come to care.