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Conversation Pieces

Vol. 79 — The Silences of Ararat

by L. Timmel Duchamp

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Read a sample from the book.

It’s an old, old story: the King loses what passes for his mind and accuses his perfect trophy wife of adultery and prepares to have her put to death. Temporary insanity, right? Often in such cases, there’s collateral damage, and that’s the case in this story. But who, in a monarchy like Ararat, can oppose the King? Enter, Paulina, stage left, a sculptor with a hidden talent, a dea ex machina with her own ideas about how this story should end.

A Few Thoughts on Writing The Silences of Ararat


This novella is rather out of the ordinary. The king is quite obviously insane, dangerously so. The queen was more of a political accommodation than anything else and whatever affection might have existed between them is swamped by his madness and paranoia. He decides that she has been unfaithful to him and sentences her to be executed. Ordinarily, that would have been the end of it. But there is a sculptor in the castle who has decided to [bring] about a happier ending. The story is mostly about the sculptor, her history and interactions, as she quietly sets about change the course of events. Understated and non-melodramatic, which makes a nice change. One could make the argument that this is not even really fantastic. It is certainly a welcome change of pace. 
  —Critical Mass, Don D;Ammassa, 4/18/21

ISBN: 978-1-61976-208-4 (13 digit)
Publication Date: Mar 2021
paperback 118 pages