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How the World Became Quiet by Rachel Swirsky

How the World Became Quiet cover
Limited Edition SOLD OUT

Dust jacket illustration by Shaun Tan.

After a powerful sorceress is murdered, she’s summoned over the centuries to witness devastating changes to the land where she was born. A woman who lives by scavenging corpses in the Japanese suicide forest is haunted by her dead lover. A man searches for the memory that will overwrite his childhood abuse. Helios is left at the altar. The world is made quiet by a series of apocalypses.

From the riveting emotion and politics of “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” (Nebula winner) to the melancholy family saga of “Eros, Philia, Agape” (Hugo and Theodore Sturgeon finalist), Rachel Swirsky’s critically acclaimed stories have quickly made her one of the field’s rising stars. Her work is, by turns, clever and engaging, unflinching and quietly devastating—often in the space of the same story.

How the World Became Quiet: Myths of the Past, Present, and Future collects the body of Swirsky’s short fiction to date for the first time. While these stories envision pasts, presents, and futures that never existed, they offer revealing examinations of humanity that readers will find undeniably true.

Limited: 750 signed numbered hardcover copies

Table of Contents:

  • The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window
  • A Memory of Wind
  • Monstrous Embrace
  • The Adventues of Captain Blackheart Wentworth: A Nautical Tale
  • Heartstrung
  • Marrying the Sun
  • A Monkey Will Never Be Rid of Its Black Hands
  • The Sea of Trees
  • Fields of Gold
  • Eros, Philia, Agape
  • The Monster’s Million Faces
  • Again and Again and Again
  • Diving After the Moon
  • Scenes from a Dystopia
  • The Taste of Promises
  • With Singleness of Heart
  • Dispersed by the Sun, Melting in the Wind
  • How the World Became Quiet: A Post-Human Creation Myth
  • Speech Strata

From Publishers Weekly (Starred Review):
“Swirsky’s crisp prose and insightful vision draw the reader in, and her work will amply reward both casual reading and close attention.”