A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause
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Pub Date: 07/11/2017

Pages: 136

Trim: 5 x 8

Publisher: Sarabande Books

Imprint: Sarabande Books

ISBN 13: 9781941411483

ISBN 10: 1941411487

Price: $15.95 / $21.99 CAN

Category: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary

A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause

By Shawn Wen

Price: $15.95

Format:

Paperback

About the Book

An Indie Next Pick for July 2017

"7 Best Books of July," Men's Journal

"10 Titles to Pick Up Now," O, The Oprah Magazine

"Most Anticipated Books of 2017," The Millions

"A unique, poetic critical appreciation of Marcel Marceau.... A fascinating book.... Readers will marvel not only at Marceau, but at the book itself, which displays such command of the material and such perfect pitch." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

As a fledgling radio producer, Shawn Wen became fascinated by the one subject who seemed impossible to put on air: French mime Marcel Marceau, the internationally acclaimed “artist of silence.” At the height of his fame, Marceau was synonymous with Bip, the red-lipped, white-faced mute in a sailor suit who conjured scenes, stories, and sweeping emotion through the gestures of his body alone. Influenced by Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp, credited with inspiring Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk, Marceau attempted in his performances to “reveal the fundamental essences of humanity.”

Beyond Bip, Marceau was a Jewish Holocaust survivor and member of the French resistance; a bombastic iconoclast; a collector of failed marriages, masks, antique knives and doting fans; an impassioned workaholic who performed into his eighties and died deeply in debt soon after leaving the stage. In precise, jewel-like scenes and vignettes, A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause pays homage to the singular genius of a mostly-forgotten art form. Drawing on interviews, archival research, and meticulously observed performances, Wen translates the gestural language of mime into a lyric written portrait by turns whimsical, melancholic, and haunting.

Shawn Wen is a writer, radio producer, and multimedia artist. Her writing has appeared in The New Inquiry, The Seneca Review, The Iowa Review, The White Review, and the anthology City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis (Faber and Faber, 2015). Her radio work has been broadcast on This American Life, Freakonomics Radio, and Marketplace. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the Ford Foundation Professional Journalism Training Fellowship and the Royce Fellowship.

 

 

About the Book

Part biographic inquiry, part lyric portraiture, radio producer Shawn Wen reanimates world-renowned mime Marcel Marceau's silent art in vibrant language.

Author

Shawn Wen is a writer, radio producer, and multimedia artist. Her writing has appeared in ,n+1, The New Inquiry, The Seneca Review, The Iowa Review, The White Review, and the anthology City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis. Her radio work has broadcast on This American Life, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Marketplace, and her video work has screened at MoMA and elsewhere. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the Ford Foundation Professional Journalism Training Fellowship and the Royce Fellowship.