Short Story Review: “The Absence of Words” by Swapna Kishore

4 of 5 stars.

Dysfunctional family relationships and dynamics can fester for years as a wedge splitting the generations. This tale leans into an allegorical interpretation of just such a scenario when three generations of women in one family struggle with anger issues that they tend to unleash upon each other.

Years earlier after a missed curfew, mother and daughter blew things out of proportion with unchecked emotion and nastiness. This was followed by the grandmother and mother having words, and then finally the granddaughter and grandmother having words. The grandmother has been electively mute ever since, or so the other two assume, each taking on a mantle of guilt.

However, the silence runs deeper than the grandmother not speaking. Whenever one or both of the younger women are in the presence of the grandmother, ALL sound ceases . . .

This tale appears in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2016 edited by Paula Guran, I received directly from Prime Books.

 

 

 

[Check out my other reviews here.]

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