by Elizabeth Tan (read by Eloise Mignon)
“Elena’s bladeless fan pivots in monochrome silence, the centrepiece of a room that’s untidy in an engineered way. Like movie teenage bedrooms.” The opening of Elizabeth Tan’s impressive debut novel could describe Rubik itself as it traces the considered chaos that comes after 25-year-old Elena is run over by a car. Tan suggests this isn’t a tragedy so much as a fact of geometry: “making a right turn as simply as a child rotates a toy 90 degrees”. This allusion to the Rubik’s cube is the first of many. A series of interconnected short stories, Rubik itself works like a literary Rubik’s cube. There are loops, echoes, patterns and surprises. Eloise Mignon’s voice strikes a lovely balance between lightness and gravity that matches Tan’s calm surrealism. An oddity, but an ambitious, enjoyable and moving one.