Painter of Silence

Front Cover
A&C Black, Mar 1, 2012 - Fiction - 312 pages
8 Reviews
When she leaves the ward she feels the whiteness of the room still inside her, as if she is bleached out inside. It is the shock, she tells herself. She feels the whiteness like a dam holding back all the coloured flood of memory.

Iasi, Romania, the early 1950s. A man is found on the steps of a hospital, frail as a fallen bird. He carries no identification and utters no words, and it is days before anyone discovers that he is deaf and mute. And then a young nurse called Safta brings paper and pencils with which he can draw. Slowly, painstakingly, memories appear on the page: a hillside, a stable, a car, a country house, dogs and mirrored rooms and samovars in what is now a lost world.

The memories are Safta's also. For the man is Augustin, son of the cook at the manor at Poiana that was her family home. Born six months apart, they grew up with a connection that bypassed words. But while Augustin's world remained the same size Safta's expanded to embrace languages, society - and love, as Augustin watched one long hot summer, in the form of a fleeting young man in a green Lagonda.

Safta left before the war. Augustin stayed. But even in the wide hills and valleys around Poiana he did not escape its horrors. He watched uncomprehending as armies passed through the place. Then the Communists came, and he found himself their unlikely victim. There are things that he must tell Safta that may be more than simple drawings can convey.

Beautiful, spare and intense, Painter of Silence captures the loss and the hope of a tragic time through the extraordinary vision of a mute outsider.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
4
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - travel.bug - LibraryThing

Interesting story about how WWII affected Romania and the privileged families there through the eyes of a deaf boy. Well written and nice how he spoke through pictures. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - eclecticdodo - LibraryThing

A moving book about Safta, the daughter of a well to do family, and Tinu, the son of their cook, deaf since birth, and without language despite rather brutal attempts at an oral education. After many ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
23
Section 2
33
Section 3
43
Section 4
64
Section 5
68
Section 6
107
Section 7
110
Section 8
117
Section 11
145
Section 12
157
Section 13
175
Section 14
191
Section 15
232
Section 16
243
Section 17
288
Section 18
292

Section 9
120
Section 10
128

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Georgina Harding is the author of two novels: The Solitude of Thomas Cave and The Spy Game, a BBC Book at Bedtime and shortlisted for the Encore Award. Her first book was a word of non-fiction, In Another Europe, recording a journey she made across Romania in 1988 during the worst times of the Ceausescu regime. It was followed by Tranquebar: A Season in South India, which documented the lives of the people in a small fishing village on the Coromandel coast. Georgina Harding lives in London and on a farm in the Stour Valley, Essex.

Bibliographic information