Perlmann's Silence by Pascal Mercier

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A tremendous international success and a huge favorite with booksellers and critics, Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon has been one of the best-selling 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. Terror-stricken, he decides to plagiarize the work of Leskov, a Russian colleague. 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.

About Pascal Mercier

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A professor of philosophy, Pascal Mercier was born in 1944 in Bern, Switzerland. Perlmann's Silence is his second novel to be translated into English, following the bestselling Night Train to Lisbon. He currently lives in Berlin.
Published January 3, 2012 by Grove Press. 625 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Perlmann's Silence

Kirkus Reviews

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The Perlmann of the present novel—Swiss author Mercier’s first book, published in German in 1995—is a German linguist, the master of several languages, who has recently lost his wife and, with her, his interest in much of anything that has to do with his former life.

Dec 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Perlmann's Silence

The Guardian

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The sentence feels like a slap in Perlmann's face, because "here", in both Walser's and Mercier's novels, stands for the world.

Oct 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Perlmann's Silence

The New Zealand Herald

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Mar 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Perlmann's Silence

Shelf Awareness

Penguin Group USA is "halting the distribution of new digital titles to libraries for the time being, citing security concerns," the Wall Street Journal reported.

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