The Silent Child

The Silent Child

Raoul Schrott

A man is sitting in a nursing home on the Swiss border. He is telling his daughter, who he hardly knows and will never see again, about the circumstances that led to her mother’s death. The man is recording his story as part of a controlled therapy. A few more pages every day, stitching together the tapestry of his life: a career in the arts; the commission to compile a portfolio of celestial images; his affair with a professional nude model; the break-up that results from the birth of the daughter; a new love affair; the child that is withheld from him by the mother. What begins as a mercilessly candid confession ends up as a declaration of guilt.
Is he to blame for the mysterious death of his daughter’s mother? The only witness is a child who refuses to speak, and the only piece of evidence is a portfolio of celestial bodies through the ages. Raoul Schrott’s densely atmospheric novella is a profoundly disturbing testimonial. Seen through the lens of shifting perspectives, the story traces the details of a shattering loss.

The Silent Child

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