Seven interlocking stories of alienation and loss, spanning several countries and subcultures, show how travel increases the sense of dislocation felt by expatriates. Where there are things which are left unsaid or are incapable of expression in words, dance or music, then the language of birds may be the only way to understand them. A tough read emotionally but persevere as you will be rewarded by the lyrical beauty of the writing.
The pain makes his mother speechless. It is a blade cutting them from each other, a presence in the car that dominates them in different ways, makes them absent from each other. In himself there is an echo of her pain, black and shiny and enormous and soundless .... The pain inside her is a strange country, an impenetrable language. Not a Germanic language barked in a menacing voice, but a set of soundless signs. Like aleph, the unvoiced Hebrew consonant. or what one hears when the birds fall silent