Speechless
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Speechless

Tom Lanoye, Paul Vincent

A musical monument of language to a mother, this novel sings and hums and growls and rattles and tickles and rages and smears and hurts. 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, Josee. Flamboyant, proud and dominant, Josee 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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