The Silent Land by Graham Joyce: Brilliant Novel

I reviewed Graham Joyce’s Shirley Jackson Award-nominated The Silent Land: A novelrecently for The Washington Post. I thought it was a brilliant book, especially considering that two characters have to carry the whole thing. It’s also, from a writer’s perspective, an amazing example of control, and of writing skill, all in the service of the characters and the emotional resonance of the novel. Few writers have the chops to pull off what Joyce has pulled off, and I’ll be using chapters from The Silent Land in future workshops as examples of various writing techniques.

Here’s an excerpt from the review:

In Graham Joyce’s brave and ultimately heartbreaking new novel, “The Silent Land,” a young married couple trapped in a deserted Alpine village must come to terms with strange events that test the strength of their relationship. In its melding of the bizarre and the personal, this tour de force invites comparison to the work of Haruki Murakami and Ian McEwan.


  1. Dan says

    Just a tip for those readers with book collecting disease: it is my understanding that the Mysterious Bookshop ( in NYC has a few signed copies of the first printing hardcover still in stock. Give them a call or email, and Sally will hook you up. Great hands-on service there, in person or through the intertubes.

  2. says

    I love Graham Joyce. Read Memoirs of a Master Forger a couple years ago and ordered most of his books before I was halfway through. I rarely read an author’s books back to back, but I had a GJ marathon that summer. Can’t wait until I am employed and able to buy books again… this one is definitely a priority.

  3. says

    That is a nice one. Thank you for this because I think that I will look into this book very soon. I have read only one Graham Joyce’s book and it was “Les Nuits de Leningrad” (Leningrad Nights) and I totally falled in love. I will really check this book out. Thank you again.

  4. Andy Wolverton says

    Just finished this one – trying to read through all the Shirley Jackson Award nominees. You’re right: the novel does make you think of all the other writers who’ve tried something similar and failed. Joyce is amazing.

  5. Hannu Blommila says

    I will definitely check this one out. Graham Joyce is a wonderful writer. Loved “Smoking Poppy.”