A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause, by Shawn Wen

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Wen’s evocative writing invites us into the audience to watch the powdered face arch into emotional heights, the body sway against unseen wind . . . With A Twenty Minutes Silence Followed by Applause, Wen offers an invigorating and memorable paean to Marcel Marceau’s talent and tragedies, wrapped in a melodic critique that is unafraid to show the pain of an artist who sometimes felt trapped in a box.”
The Washington Post

A book-length essay on the mime Marcel Marceau, informed by interviews with his students, closely observed performances, and archival research. Remarkably innovative in structure and style, the book employs lists, prose poems, syllabi, a travel itinerary, a catalog of his possessions, and more. A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause is a celebration of Marceau's transcendent creation.

Praise for A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause

“A captivating exercise in style and form . . . A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause immortalizes the silent man in words. . . . Wen distills Marcel Marceau’s life by allowing his eccentricities, words, life, and work to speak for him. Wen’s admiration for Marceau is most evident in her beautifully wrought descriptions of his best-known performances; these careful renderings and thoughtful observations bring Marceau’s movements to life on the page.”
—The Los Angeles Review of Books

“Intellectually agile and tenderly imagined, Shawn Wen’s incandescent essay reminds readers that writing is gesture, that movement is a language of thought, and that the union of the two is a thing of beauty.”
—Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

“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

136 pages.

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