No Sign

In Peter Balakian’s new book, No Sign, the voices of a pair known to us only as He and She interrogate experiences large and small, past and present. The darting dialogue between this eerily disembodied couple, simultaneously grounded and abstract, covers war, geology, love, history, and the threat of planetary extinction. When the sun at last goes out, so of course will we — unless we manage to destroy ourselves first. Two sides of the same coin, He and She are juxtaposed against the mythic presences of Pan and the ever-shifting Gaea who reveal a world full of color and beauty despite the horrors of the past and an ominous future. Mysterious and utterly original, part time-machine, part love affair, No Sign soars at every turn, buoyed by Balakian’s singularly piercing musical line.