Humor, pain and copious amounts of love run throughout this critically acclaimed novel by Tom Lanoye that sold almost 135,000 copies in Holland and Belgium alone. Both brave and honest, Speechless is a poignant homage to Lanoye's late mother, Jos e.
Flamboyant, proud and dominant, Jos e is unrecognizable after suffering a stroke, which strips her of the ability to speak and express herself with the expansiveness for which she was known. With style and grace, Lanoye weaves together autobiography, testimony and fiction to recount the last years of his mother's life and the years before her stroke. Harnessing his power as a playwright and dexterity as a poet, Lanoye employs rich prose to paint a colorful picture of growing up and coming to terms with his homosexuality.
Speechless is compellingly translated from the Dutch by Paul Vincent, whose skillful translation complements Lanoye's rich style.
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About the AuthorTom Lanoye is one of the most popular and well-regarded Flemish authors. Starting out as a poet and a critic, he became famous for his prose and drama, as well as his politically and socially engaged columns and his unique cabaret‐style performances. He is the author of over 50 works of poetry, drama and fiction. In 2017, Speechless was adapted into a film by Hilde Van Miegham. Lanoye has won many literary prizes, including the prestigious Constantijn Huygens Prize for his entire oeuvre. His work has been translated into fifteen languages.
"Nine years after its original appearance in Belgium, the most celebrated work from Flemish writer Lanoye makes its dazzling North American debut. A playful, touching, and verbally extravagant memoir-novel of grief." --Kirkus Reviews
"Tour de force: a splendid tragicomic novel." --Le Monde
"This is the kind of novel you want to share with friends via favorite passages you read aloud, and I found myself underlining and jotting notes in the margins over and over as if I were in conversation with the narrator-- that's how dynamic and exciting Speechless is . . . gorgeous, forceful, funny, and moving. . . [Lanoye] is a master at creating character, setting scenes, picking absolutely perfect evocative details, working with extended metaphors, and plunging you into drama whether of the intimate family kind or natural catastrophe." --Lev Raphael, author of Dancing on Tisha B'Av, Winter Eyes and My Germany
"The best Lanoye has ever written." --De Tijd
"A poignant and unforgettable book." --De Standaard
"Heart-wrenching and hilarious." --De Morgen
"Lanoye brings out the best of his narrative power and his stylistic brilliance." --Humo
"A monument of language for a dead mother that grabs you by the throat." --HP de Tijd
"Lanoye leaves the reader speechless" --Elsevier
"Painful, gripping, and harrowing, full of verbal pyrotechnics." --Metro