Eileen R. Tabios: Silk Egg — Collected Novels
Published 15 January 2011
Paperback, 132pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17 / C$18.50
Last century, I temporarily borrowed Jorge Luis Borges' chatelaine. I slipped off a certain key and made a copy before I returned it to its chains and the old man (OMG: can he ever snore!). Since then, I've been able to slip into Jorgie's Library of Babel whenever I wished—that permanent stain on the 7th floor's limestone windowsill was from the d'Yquem I'd carelessly spilled from my treasured wine glass (stolen previously from Vermeer). About a year after I wrote all of the novels that comprise SILK EGG, I returned to the Library of Babel's 7th floor with a bottle of Ajax cleanser ("stronger than dirt!") that I'd hoped would work this time in erasing proof of my unpermitted visitations: that hardened pool of "nectar of the gods" ever winking out a small sun from the bibliophilic dimness. It was during this yet again failed attempt at the domestic arts that I also stumbled across a book whose spine mirrored the color of the sweet liquid I'd spilled; I do love this wine's color—an apt symbol of enlightenment among Buddhists. I pulled out the book from the shelf, blew off the dust, opened it, and discovered there the same words that comprise SILK EGG. However, the novels were contextualized by the book's title: INEVITABLE GIBBERISH. I dispute the Library of Babel's context—but there's no need to take my word for it: I've decided to release SILK EGG to the public and have readers judge whether these novels are more than the leavings from more acceptable narratives as authors strive to use every letter, space and punctuation mark in every possible combination. (Eileen R. Tabios)
"The genius of Eileen R. Tabios is as generous as it is manifold. Reading Silk Egg, I suddenly feel myself becoming more perceptive, fantastical, mordant, impassioned, and artful. Just like the book itself. Read it, and the same can happen to you." —Barry Schwabsky
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