How does a quiet book, likely written by a quiet writer, become known in a world increasingly dominated by the loud?
During the time I consume a book, and sometimes for days after, I’ll linger within the fictive dream. Recently, for example, I’ve imagined that I too might:
- unleash a civilization’s redemption by offering to save my sister’s life
- be nineteen again, and need only breathe to exude sexuality
- have license to kick evil overlords in their overlordish asses
Trouble is, that entertainment comes tinged with yearning. While I might feel momentarily inspired and emboldened, it’s hard to see the book’s applicability to the regular me.
Contrast this with a different sort of novel. They tend to be what the industry calls “quiet.” They tend to be about ordinary people facing ordinary struggles searching for extraordinary grace. The characters are warmly drawn, the world infused with subtle optimism. A good portion of the book’s magic comes via its themes and texture.
On days when my biggest accomplishment is to use my inside voice with my teenagers; in weeks when the most deluded person couldn’t describe me as possessing “interestingness,” these are the books that return me to myself. They help me stand with feet connected to earth. I am validated, grateful. One might even say healed.
So what is the problem and why is it relevant to you?