A tremendous international success and a huge favorite with booksellers and critics, Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon
is one of the bestselling literary European novels in recent years. Now, in Perlmann’s Silence,
the follow-up to his triumphant North American debut, Pascal Mercier delivers a deft psychological portrait of a man striving to get his life back on track in the wake of his beloved wife’s death.
Philipp Perlmann, prominent linguist and speaker at a gathering of renowned international academics in a picturesque seaside town near Genoa
, is struggling to maintain his grip on reality. Derailed by grief and no longer confident of his professional standing, writing his keynote address seems like an insurmountable task and, as the deadline approaches, Perlmann realizes that he will have nothing to present to his expectant colleagues. Terrorstricken, he decides to plagiarize the work of Leskov, a Russian colleague, and breathes a sigh of short-lived relief once the text has been submitted. But when Leskov’s imminent arrival is announced and threatens to expose Perlmann as a fraud, Perlmann’s mounting desperation leads him to contemplate drastic measures.
An exquisite, captivating portrait of a mind slowly unraveling, Perlmann’s Silence
is a brilliant, textured meditation on the complex interplay between language and memory, and the depths of the human psyche.