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  • February 2012
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I Can’t Tell You

When you're a librarian, you find all sorts of notes and other little bits of paper--torn photos, wrappers, receipts, and other small but meaningful mementos of people's lives.I feel like in some anthropological way, these accidental fragments are more telling than anything. Then again, I've always appreciated both understatement and the subconscious.That's why one of my favorite books is Hillary Frank's "I Can't Tell You," about a college student who takes a vow of silence, only communicating through small notes.  One of the really cool things about thisbook is that it is entirely made up of these notes--if somebody doesn't reply, then your only insight into what they said is how the main character, Jake, reacts to their reluctance.As for why he's taken this vow of silence, well, that is for the reader to discover. --Joseph Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

3 Responses

  1. Awesome idea for a post, Joseph. The book sounds great–I’ll check it out.

  2. Fantastic book review / post! My fav library find was a mini caricature of me (which I can’t find at the moment). Another great one said “soul food / tattoo”: I wondered if it was a business idea or just a To Do list.

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