Puncher & Wattmann, $24 pb, 111 pp, 9781921450426
The voices of Subhash Jaireth’s three fictional autobiographies within To Silence are those of historical figures. Kabir (1440–1518) was a mystic poet associated with the reformist Bhakti or Devotional Movement in medieval India. An illiterate weaver, he rejected idolatry and caste, and his principally Hindu philosophy showed significant Islamic influence. Maria Chekhova (1863–1957), the clever and well-educated sister of Anton Chekhov, selflessly devoted more than half her long life to running the Chekhov House–Museum at Yalta. The third voice is that of Tommaso Campanella (1568–1639), an Italian philosopher, theologian, astrologer, and poet whose brave, unorthodox views earned him almost thirty years in prison.