A Year of Silence

The Expense of a View, by Polly Buckingham

The Expense of a View, by Polly Buckingham

Click here to purchase The Expense of a View

I urge you to support the publisher, UNT Press, or your independent  bookstore by ordering through Indiebound or Texas A&M Press when prompted.

The Expense of a View is a carefully rendered examination of memory, loss, and sadness. The emotional reality of the characters is riveting and stayed with me long after finishing each story. These are the people we see every day, strangers suffering, ones we are too busy to worry about, that we ignore. The stories in The Expense of a View are reminders that everyone is important.”—Chris Offutt, author of My Father, the Pornographer and Final Judge

“Slipping through Florida’s haze, its mangrove mazes, Buckingham’s characters dream of escape, the sort of dreams that create routes into endurance. These beautifully written stories, full of subtle mystery and nuance, convey my kind of sadness—a sadness that conjoins humans to one another in profound ways. Lonely fishermen, travelers adrift, sufferers of the loss of a dog, a lover, a child—such sadnesses resound with the essence of what it is to be human and to exist humanely. With much joy I salute these stories that allow us to measure and forgive one another, and ourselves.”—Nance Van Winckel, author of Ever Yrs, Boneland, and Curtain Creek Farm

“One of the most compelling collections I’ve read in years. Every story is filled with luminous insights. Every. Single. One. I scribbled down lines and taped them to my fridge. The characters are so finely etched they lifted from the page. Outstanding.”—Debra Magpie Earling, author of Perma Red

“Set mostly in the coastal waters off Florida and the Pacific Northwest, this book reads like a series of tales about castaways, people thrown to shore after devastating losses—a child’s death, a lover’s abandonment, a sister’s suicide. Ill-prepared and ill-equipped, the survivors struggle to accept that ‘sometimes there really is no one to blame, not even yourself’ as they begin to make peace with themselves and their strange new circumstances. These are tender, beautifully written stories, delicate and wise.”—Molly Giles, author of All the Wrong Places

“One of the most moving stories, ‘Festival,’ concerns two teenage parents, Sheila and Nick, attending a music festival with their baby, Michelle. . . . Though the circumstances here are often dismally bleak, at her best Buckingham offers glimmers of pale but definite hope.”–Kirkus Reviews

“What ultimately makes The Expense of a View a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts is Buckingham’s consistently smart (and slightly sad) narration. Her stories are united by characters—usually talented, young women coping with loss or a difficult relationship—achieving a small measure of peace and grace amid difficult circumstances. . . . For readers of challenging literary fiction, this is a worthwhile and enjoyable collection.”–NY Journal of Books


Front cover of the book, A Year of Silence, by Polly Buckingham

A Year of Silence, by Polly Buckingham

A Year of Silence

Polly Buckingham’s chapbook, A Year of Silence, is the winner of the 2012 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award, sponsored by University of Central Florida’s The Florida Review.

Price: $10 (plus shipping)
ISBN: 9780985574512
Publisher: The Florida Review Press, University of Central Florida, College of Arts & Humanities English Department




From Lex Williford, judge for the 2012 Jeanne M. Leiby Chapbook Award:

In the winning story, “A Year of Silence,” a man who has lost his wife to a terrorist attack in the London Tube tries to take care of his daughter, a gifted seven-year-old pianist, who gradually loses her ability to feel the keys of her instrument, to play the music her mother loved or, after surgery, to use her hands for even the most simple task. Stranded in a cottage with no electricity and little food in an unrelenting winter flood rising from the North Sea, the two characters survive the cold wind- and rain-swept Outer Hebrides, an almost perfect embodiment of a depthless and unending grief.

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