Finalist for the National Book Award • Finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Award • Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award • Winner of the National Jewish Book Award • Finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award • Finalist for the T. S. Eliot Prize • Finalist for the Forward Prize for Best Collection
Ilya Kaminsky’s astonishing parable in poems asks us, What is silence?
Deaf Republic opens in an occupied country in a time of political unrest. When soldiers breaking up a protest kill a deaf boy, Petya, the gunshot becomes the last thing the citizens hear—they all have gone deaf, and their dissent becomes coordinated by sign language. The story follows the private lives of townspeople encircled by public violence: a newly married couple, Alfonso and Sonya, expecting a child; the brash Momma Galya, instigating the insurgency from her puppet theater; and Galya’s girls, heroically teaching signing by day and by night luring soldiers one by one to their deaths behind the curtain. At once a love story, an elegy, and an urgent plea, Ilya Kaminsky’s long-awaited Deaf Republic confronts our time’s vicious atrocities and our collective silence in the face of them.