An innovative literary thriller about a generation of children born unable to create or comprehend language
Some time right around now, doctors, nurses, and—most of all—parents begin to notice an epidemic spreading among newborn children. Children who are physically normal in every way except that they do not speak, and do not respond to speech; they don’t learn to read, don’t learn to write. Theories spread—maybe it’s related to a popular anti-depressant? Maybe these children, without the ability to use or comprehend language, have special skills of their own.
Unfolding in a series of brief testimonials from parents, teachers, friends, doctors, cult leaders, profiteers, cult leaders, impostors—everyone touched by the silent phenomenon except, of course, the children themselves—The Silent History is both a bold storytelling experiment and unexpectedly propulsive reading experience. Originally conceived and serially published as an award-winning iPhone/iPad app by Eli Horowitz, the former publisher of McSweeney’s, along with two acclaimed novelists (Matthew Derby and Kevin Moffett) and one intrepid coder (Russell Quinn), the book has been re-edited and, at times, rewritten into a definitive, nuanced, and unputdownable text, a story that is at once timely, timeless, and terrifying.
Eli Horowitz was the managing editor and then publisher of McSweeney’s for eight years. He is the coauthor of The Clock Without a Face, a treasure-hunt mystery, and Everything You Know Is Pong, an illustrated cultural history of ping pong. He was born in Virginia and lives in San Francisco.
Matthew Derby is the author of Super Flat Times. He lives in Massachusetts.
Kevin Moffett is the author of Permanent Visitors and Further Interpretation of Real Life Events. He lives in Claremont, California.
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