The Quiet is Loud

by Samantha Garner

Cover of The Quiet is Loud

Nominated for 2022 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

The perfect marriage of literary and speculative fiction for readers of Kazuo Ishiguro and NK Jemisin.

When Freya Tanangco was ten, she dreamed of her mother’s death days before it happened. Freya’s life since has been spent in hiding: from the troubled literary legacy created by her author father, and from the scrutiny of a society that is hostile to vekers—people who, like her, have enhanced mental abilities.

When her prophetic dreams take a dangerous turn, Freya finds herself increasingly forced to sacrifice her own anonymity—and the fragile safety that comes with it—in order to protect those around her.

Interwoven with themes of Filipino Canadian and mixed-race identity, fantastical elements from Norse and Filipino mythology, and tarot card symbolism, The Quiet Is Loud is an intergenerational tale about the consequences of secrets and what happens when we refuse to let others tell our stories for us.

May 2021 (Canada)
September 2021 (U.S.)

Invisible Publishing

Rights sold:

  • World: Invisible Publishing (K2 selling translation, UK, ANZ rights)
  • Germany: Piper Verlag

The Quiet is Loud is a zeitgeist zirconia, a choker of sparkling speculation for Gen Z readers whose reading tastes are migrating toward adult literary spec fic. For her debut novel, Toronto writer Samantha Garner pours her curiosity into an approachable, recognizable narrative…. Garner wears her spec fic, geek, and SF influences on her sleeve, and The Quiet Is Loud is a warm welcome to the more literary part of that universe.” –Understorey Magazine

“Complex and vulnerable, The Quiet is Loud, is a wonderful stepping stone for those who love magical realism but might find the likes of One Hundred Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera a bit intimidating, or for readers looking to explore magical realism for the first time.”
Ruchika Gothoska, Hamilton Review of Books

“Rather deftly, Garner layers and weaves details throughout the book that draw you in … It’s definitely worth the read.”Megan Amato, Cloud Lake Literary

“The novel contains compelling characters, an engrossing story, lots of stuff to unpack and lots of Filipino food descriptions to enjoy, and I absolutely loved it.”
Literary Treats

The Quiet is Loud made me believe wholeheartedly in the paradextrous powers of its characters and their world, so wholeheartedly that at times I forgot that what I was reading was not possible. Garner’s is an exciting new voice.”
–Liz Harmer, author of The Amateurs and Strange Loops

The Quiet is Loud is a novel about the mystical and supernatural, a genre tale about people with unbelievable powers beyond their own understanding. But it’s also a deeply thoughtful book about identity and the quest for true acceptance—especially in a world that encourages us to hate, hide, and fear who we are.”
Stacey May Fowles, Open Book Ontario

The Quiet is Loud explores the grey areas between what we say and what we conceal and the stakes of keeping one’s identity hidden.… It’s a fearlessly unique book.”Maria Cichosz, Broken Pencil

“The Quiet is Loud is highly aware of its surroundings within time and culture, demonstrating that one can be present and engaged with the story while also thinking critically.”Margaryta Golovchenko, Canthius

“Samantha Garner’s rich prose deftly weaves together family politics, estrangement, and finding one’s own place in the world. A lovely exploration of friendship, and identity, and what it means to be truly accepted.” –Lindsay Zier-Vogel, author of Letters to Amelia

“In The Quiet is Loud, Garner builds a world where dream visions, tarot readings, and the existence of the paradextrous are a natural part of day-to-day life. Written in clear-eyed prose that effortlessly weaves in Filipino and Norse mythology, The Quiet is Loud is an exciting and sensitive look into the mind of a young woman grappling with the consequences of family secrets, while also coming to terms with her unique talents. It is a powerful debut.” –Teri Vlassopoulos, author of Escape Plans

“In The Quiet is Loud, Samantha Garner has deftly crafted a world that left me breathless. Getting to know Freya Tanangco’s story, watching her weave together the strands of her Norwegian Filipino identity and the unexpected power she wields, was both suspenseful and filled with quiet illumination. At the heart, the novel is a gripping journey of self-discovery and the family bonds that hold us all together.” –Julia Zarankin, author of Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder

“The smallest, most personal details give the novel its viscerality. Garner’s touch is subtle and effective: I could sense the coolness in the air, hear the rustle of the trees opening up to a steely blue-tinged sky. I could smell the longsilog cooking in the kitchen, taste the sweet-and-sour bite into a crispy boot-shaped chicken nugget. I could shuffle Freya’s tarot deck, run my finger along the cards’ edges and corners frayed by the passage of time, hold in my hands the comforting heft of promised answers. All of these details braid together into a story that at once feels so easily real and also glimmers with possibility, that fantastical tug of and yet.”
Maria Bolaños