I have two questions. It is hard to understand “awkward silence, made no less so by….” in the second sentence below. Does this mean “There was an awkward silence, and it was made no less so by…” ?
The other question is about the meaning of “no less so.” This means “no less awkward,” perhaps. I can understand the sentences,for example, “She is wise and you are no less so. (= She is no less wise than you are.)” Both are the same in meaning, aren’t they? But the sentence in question below is hard to understand, because I don’t understand what you compare with what in the sentence.
We greeted each other stiffly. There was an awkward silence, made no less so by the way Nirar kept looking at me, as if she were fixing every detail of my features in her memory.