The Silence of the Carps

Original title: Le silence des carpes

Publication Date:

January 2021



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Literary Fiction

The Silence of the Carps

Original title: Le silence des carpes



Paul Solveig’s wife is leaving him and his kitchen tap is leaking. He can do nothing about his wife, but he can call a Czech plumber to fix the tap. While he is going about his business, the plumber drops an old photograph of his mother, who disappeared in his native Moravia during the Communist era. This strange and beautifully composed image fascinates Paul. With his wife gone and the tap fixed, there is no longer anything to keep him in Paris and so the young man decides to leave France to search for this woman who was swallowed up behind the Iron Curtain thirty years previously, as well as the artist who immortalized her. He ends up in Blednice in the heart of Moravia, where he pursues his improbable quest and encounters a film-loving waitress, a contemporary artist who is a bit behind the times, and an ex-secret police officer among the many other off-beat characters.

Le silence des carpes is a wonderful ode to the Czech Republic, its culture, its cinema, and the eccentricity of its inhabitants. 

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