Kevin Brockmeier

Kevin Brockmeier is the author of the novels The Brief History of the Dead (Pantheon, 2006) and The Truth About Celia (Pantheon, 2003), the children’s novels City of Names (Viking Juvenile, 2002) and Grooves: A Kind of Mystery (Katherine Tegen Books, 2006), and the story collections Things That Fall from the Sky (Pantheon, 2002) and The View from the Seventh Layer (Pantheon, 2008). He has published stories in The New Yorker, The Georgia Review, McSweeney’s, The Oxford American, Zoetrope: All-Story, The Best American Short Stories, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and The O. Henry Prize Stories anthology. He has received the Borders Original Voices Award, the PEN USA Award, The Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, an Italo Calvino Short Fiction Award, a James Michener–Paul Engle Fellowship, three O. Henry Awards (one, a first prize), an NEA grant, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Recently he was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Year of Silence

1. Shortly after two in the afternoon, on Monday, the sixth of April, a few seconds of silence overtook the city. The rattle of the jackhammers, the boom of the transformers, and the whir of the ventilation fans all came…