The Quiet

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Benedict, Pinckney


This novel follows the narrator and her deaf son as they travel alone through a post-apocalyptic Midwest, trying to find the narrator’s ex-husband, who she hopes has not succumbed to the plague of The Quiet, a pandemic that has caused almost everyone in the world—and certainly everyone they know—to go suddenly silent and still. Estelline, the narrator, believes that her ex is to be found at Albion, a commune at which he was staying and which she hopes was somehow preserved from ruin. Along the way to Albion, Estelline and her son, Jasper, encounter the Quiet Ones (people who have simply entered a catatonic state in the midst of whatever they were doing when the doom fell) and the Chasers (people who remain partially sentient and who pursue, but only over short distances, anyone who disturbs them), but soon discover that their greatest threat is the Hunters, a group of men who molest and mutilate Quiet Ones and who attempt to kill the journeying pair. Estelline and Jasper quickly discover that their only protection from the ruthless men who pursue them lies in silence.

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