Deaf Republic: Poems
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.