Deaf Republic: Poems, by Ilia Kaminsky

Deaf Republic: Poems, by Ilia Kaminsky

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"The product of 15 years of meditation, this chilling work--an important warning about the forces of repression and a quiet salute to the courage of the few who resist--heralds the maturity of an important voice in world poetry."--Library Journal, starred review

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.

March 5, 2019