Quiet books are often misread, misunderstood, or, sadly, missed altogether. If a book is labeled quiet in a review or in literary conversation, an author and her readers will likely see it as an insult—sharp criticism of some deep-rooted flaw in the writer’s storytelling abilities. But for me, someone who leans toward anxiety and is easily overstimulated, startled, and stressed out—especially these days—quiet books offer a calming space, a place of rescue. I’ve been told more than once that my writing is quiet, and I always take it as a high compliment because I know how much I long for moments of rest and reflection in the books I read, the movies I watch, the places I go, and the people I encounter along the way. I suspect I’m not alone.
Leesa Cross-Smith has always liked quiet spaces from which to write, especially in today’s raucous political climate. I feel the same way. This is a nice essay about her work and her love of quiet books.