Author Sabrina Orah Mark
Soft Cover, 6 x 8", 80 pages
Long awaited follow-up to The Babies!
"Sabrina Orah Mark's Tsim Tsum is like a collection of episodes from a lost, slightly sinister children's book on the nature of love and time, in which wry parables move us further and further down unknown hallways, beyond instruction, into corridors of dream-sense, far into the strange, cool territory of the fabulous." —Mark Doty
Sabrina Orah Mark follows up her critically acclaimed debut, The Babies, winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize in 2004 chosen by Jane Miller, with a second collection of prose, Tsim Tsum, centered on two characters, Walter B. and Beatrice, first introduced in The Babies. Unbeknownst to them they have come into being under the laws of Tsim Tsum, a Kabbalistic claim that a being cannot become, or come into existence, unless the creator of that being departs from that being. Along their journey they encounter many beguiling characters including The Healer, The Collector, Walter B.’s Extraordinary Cousin, and the Oldest Animal. These figures bewilder and dislodge what is at the heart of the immigrant experience: survival, testimony, and belonging.
Sabrina Orah Mark's Tsim Tsum is like a collection of episodes from a lost, slightly sinister children's book on the nature of love and time, in which wry parables move us further and further down unknown hallways, beyond instruction, into corridors of dream-sense, far into the strange, cool territory of the fabulous.
Truly original and creative story telling.
Desi and Lucy, Punch and Judy, the sun and the moon, your relatives, you, Kafka’s great-grand-niece and her long-suffering spouse all come alive in the quarrelsome, repeatedly mortal, resurrected, affectionate duo of Beatrice and Walter B., who speak, act, and think their way through Mark’s vexing, funny and terrifying prose poems, driven by incongruity, irony and dialogue, with assists and interruptions from the Oldest Animal in the World. “‘If by housekeeping you mean time travel, then yes, I am doing some housekeeping.’ ‘Can I do some too?’ asked Walter B.’” Can we? You'll remember what Mark has done with the prose poem: you'll wonder how on Earth she does it, too.
Tsim Tsum offers glimpses of the weird, beautiful world of the indoor carnival, a great-aunt’s chipped music box, those lacey vintage undergarments that no one can say for sure whether they are on right-side-up or not (I suspect that Beatrice would insist that there is no right-side…).
Mark is a weaver of tales which will undoubtedly appeal to readers of both fiction and poetry. Her ability to make the reader question certain perceived truths is what places her, in my opinion, in that category of authors who write the works, as Kafka would say, "that act as an axe for the frozen see within us."