Backchat: Rubik

Elizabeth Tan, Rubik

Elizabeth Tan, Rubik.
Brio Books. AUD $29.99.
Buy direct from the publisher.

Splice publishes new content on Mondays and Wednesdays, but throughout the week we bulk it out with bonus material on Facebook and Twitter. On Fridays, “Backchat” looks at the week that was and gathers up all the bonus material in one place.

First up this week on Splice, Anna MacDonald reviewed Elizabeth Tan’s “novel-in-interconnected-stories”, Rubik.

Rubik has quite a history. It was published to acclaim last year by Brio Books in Australia, and was republished this week by Unnamed Press in the United States. In early June, it’ll arrive in the UK via Wundor Editions. Mid-week on Splice, Milly Weaver of Wundor Editions explained why Rubik appealed to her and why she decided to make it available to readers in Britain.

Elizabeth Tan, Rubik

Elizabeth Tan, Rubik.
Wundor Editions. £10.
Buy direct from the publisher.

It’s easy to dive into the novel and sample some of the stories it contains. The Amazon page for the Australian edition allows you to read the first two stories in their entirety, including the tale of the ill-fated Elena Rubik; it also offers a portion of the third story. And the story “Coca-Cola Birds Sing Sweetest in the Morning”, originally published in the magazine Overland in 2016, can be read for free on the Overland website.

If you enjoy Tan’s work, you can find lots of other pieces, not included in Rubik, at her personal website, with a couple of especially good stories having appeared previously in Seizure. Also be sure to check out her webcomic, mais pourquois, which Tan continues to update every Monday.

Elizabeth Tan, Rubik

Elizabeth Tan, Rubik.
Unnamed Press. USD $16.99.
Buy direct from the publisher.

In her discussion of Rubik, Milly Weaver mentioned that Justine Hyde’s response to the novel, published in the Newtown Review of Books, was one of the first pieces of criticism to pique her interest in it. Other detailed considerations of Rubik have appeared in The Lifted Brow and in Kill Your Darlings. The book has also recently received Kirkus review, ahead of its American publication.

Finally, Tan has spoken a little bit about Rubik, her inspirations, and her influences. “[T]here is definitely an affinity between Rubik’s formation and the process of collaging,” she told Books + Publishing: “repurposing and recontextualising, bringing unlike things together, creating a flawed and fragmented whole.” You can read the entire interview at the B+P website.

That’s all for this week! Next week we’ll be looking at Alejandro Zambra’s Not to Read, published by Fitzcarraldo Editions. Follow Splice on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with everything as it unfolds…