Pascal Mercier

Perlmann's Silence

An academic finds himself contemplating the unthinkable in a “tour de force” psychological thriller by the philosopher and author of Night Train to Lisbon (De Volkskrant, Netherlands).
Pascal Mercier’s critically acclaimed debut novel, Night Train to Lisbon, became an international bestseller and the basis for a film starring Jeremy Irons. Now, in Perlmann’s Silence, 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 international academics in a 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. Terrified of failure, he decides to plagiarize the work of Leskov, a Russian colleague, and breathes a sigh of relief once the text has been submitted. But when Leskov’s imminent arrival is announced, Perlmann’s mounting desperation leads him to contemplate drastic measures.
A captivating portrait of a slowly unraveling mind, Perlmann’s Silence is a brilliant meditation on the complex interplay between language, memory, and the depths of the human psyche.
798 printed pages
Original publication
Publication year
Shaun Whiteside
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