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SOMETIMES A BOOK IS LIFE, NOT ART. “A Mother Silenced,” by T. K. Ann

I met T. K. Ann, the author of A SILENCED MOTHER, while having a pedicure. We got talking and realized we’d shared a lot of awful experiences involving our children and ourselves. She said she’d written a book, and I ordered it on Amazon.

From the first page, it is obvious that T. K. did not hire an editor to spruce up the story, but who cares? The conditional “would” instead of “will” in this sentence: “I lay in bed in the darkness wondering what the next day will bring,” caused this reader to wonder if the writer was in the present or in the past.  This ambiguity alerts the reader that the story she’s going to get is mainlined from the heart, without regard to grammar.

T. K. is naïve enough to give the reader information that a more sophisticated writer might avoid as distracting, such as where the tampons are if you get taken to jail when you have your period.

She descends, without second thoughts about how the story is developing, to the lowest point a mother could go when her children are taken from her. If the reader tires of her floods of hysterical tears, imagine how it might feel to the real mother. T. K. doesn’t stop crying because it’s literarily enough; she stops when real life brings the tears to an end.

The innocent writing style does not allow for the pulsing of paragraphs; whole pages go by without a break. It is reminiscent of a stream of consciousness style, but I doubt T. K. has ever heard of that. The lack of paragraphs blurs the timeline and the cause-and-effect flow, but a writer looking for enlightenment about paragraphs will notice that the disorientation this causes could work, with some tweaks. A mother in crisis doesn’t know what time it is.

Her erotic scenes are the best writing in the book.

Readers will benefit because it will give them a slice of life worthy of Paddy Chayefsky or Guy de Maupassant, but without the artifice.

Writers can benefit from reading it because they will see what happens when you let the blood run, the heart reach out, when you let life happen without the modifications they taught you in your MFA class.

T. K. touches the hot, life-or-death button of life. Would you, dear writer, dare to do the same? Would you survive the process of doing so? I’ll admit right here that there are events in my own life that I have found it impossible to record without risking depression and what sometimes feels like death.