translated from the American by Nicolai Kobus
In The Sacred Book of Silence, Doug Rice explores languages for beauty and for love. Through memoir, philosophical fragments, and poetic breath, the narrator reflects on desire and jouissance and on his life with Mai and with Amber, women who unnerved his own way for being in the world. Stories of Mai’s journey from Vietnam to America mingle with stories of her ancestors and with stories of her present life in a foreign tongue. Memories become fairytales that are then forgotten and remembered later as dreams. Sentences break. Sentences are abandoned. Photographs disappear before they can appear. Amber’s beauty and the narrator’s love for Amber haunt each word, each moment of the narrative. Beneath the appearance of each word is a photograph of a desire that will always remain invisible.
Doug Rice, born in 1957 in Pittsburgh, PA/USA, is a professor at Sacramento State University and is the author of numerous books including Between Appear and Disappear, Dream Memoirs of a Fabulist, Skin Prayer, Blood of Mugwump, and others.