COA professor emeritus Bill Carpenter's latest novel, Silence, to be published by...COA professor emeritus Bill Carpenter's latest novel, "Silence," to be published by Islandport Press in June 2021, follows the experiences of an Iraq war veteran returning home to Maine after 9/11.

Islandport Press will publish “Silence,” a new novel from celebrated Maine author, poet, and professor Bill Carpenter in June 2021.

Following the critical acclaim of his previous novel “The Wooden Nickel,” William Carpenter examines the bitter legacy of 9/11 in “Silence,” as experienced through the return home of a young Iraq war vet to Maine. Nick Colonna is the only survivor of a brutal IED attack that has killed his whole crew and rendered him permanently deaf. As he struggles to integrate, Nick flickers between youthful memories and violent flashbacks, and the need for love versus the need for solitude. Inner demons drive him to revisit the island sanctuary he treasured before his deployment, which is now threatened by development. While trying to come to grips with what he has endured, Nick meets Julia Fletcher, the youngest daughter of the family that owns the island. Through their friendship, Carpenter raises questions about what survives carnage and loss, and where—in a divided and chaotic world—fragile people might retreat in peace and silence.

“Carpenter has a reputation for shining an unvarnished light of truth into some darker subjects, and “Silence” is his most ambitious endeavor yet,” says Genevieve Morgan, fiction editor at Islandport Press. “Not only has he captured the hard realities combat veterans face trying to reintegrate into their old lives, but he juxtaposes this fracture with the violation we all experience when the peace of wild, beautiful places are ripped up and developed.”

William Carpenter grew up in Waterville, graduated from Dartmouth, and earned a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. He taught at the University of Chicago before returning to Maine to help found the College of the Atlantic, where he was on the faculty for for 48 years. His poetry has been widely published and translated in the United States and Europe, and has been set to music in performances at Carnegie Hall and the Boston Opera Company. His previous novels are “A Keeper of Sheep” and “The Wooden Nickel.” He and writer Donna Gold live in an old coastal inn and spend summers exploring Maine islands in their family sloop, Northern Light.