New Novel—Orphans, Assassins and the Existential Eggplant—Explores Quirky Side of Historical Fiction

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Orphans, Assassins and the Existential Eggplant is a new novel that combines real historic events and characters in a world of fictional misfits and imaginary heroes—including a shrunken, 600-year-old eggplant that communicates with whomever wears it.

This was no ordinary eggplant—it possessed a certain intelligence, magnetism and ‘voice’ that set it apart from the rest of the vegetable kingdom.

Orphans, Assassins and the Existential Eggplant is a new novel by J.T. Gillett that weaves quirky events and characters of the medieval world together in an adventure spanning half the globe. The story begins in early 13th century England with a female alchemist, orphan teenager and wisecracking, shrunken, 600-year-old eggplant in search of the fabled Lost Stone of Eden. They cross Europe and the Mediterranean Sea with the Children’s Crusade, hijack a caravan in the Sahara Desert, live with hashish-fueled Assassins in the mountains of Persia and rediscover paradise on the island of Bahrain.

The novel features historic events and characters in a world of fictional misfits and imaginary heroes. From mixing explosives in an alchemical laboratory to forays with Knights Templars and the infamous Old Man of the Mountain, the novel takes you on a wild, dangerous and fast-paced ride through fantastic medieval realities.

Three characters share the novel’s spotlight: Layla, a female alchemist in search of the Lost Stone; Aaron, an orphan teenager who follows his first love across France to the Sahara desert; and the existential eggplant, whose historical sarcasm adds a quirky, philosophical perspective. As the trio pursues their individual quests, they uncover a web of connections that lead them to St Antony’s Well in the heart of the Sahara, the Assassin’s mountain fortress in Persia and paradise in Bahrain.

Orphans, Assassins and Existential Eggplant explores alchemical operations, demystifies life extension practices, visits the world’s greatest library of shamanic and profane literature and introduces a charmed, shrunken eggplant that talks to whomever wears it. Here’s a brief excerpt describing the existential eggplant:

This was no ordinary eggplant—this one was the size of a small toe, hard as polished marble, rich like a deep purple-black jewel and more than handsome—it possessed a certain intelligence, magnetism and ‘voice’ that set it apart from the rest of the vegetable kingdom. It was a magnificent little companion.

Orphans, Assassins and Existential Eggplant is published by Homunculus Press and is available on Amazon.com as a paperback or Kindle edition.

About the Author: J.T Gillett holds degrees in philosophy and journalism from the University of Oregon and studied at Naropa Institute’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. His stories and poems have appeared in a variety of Literary Journals, including City Lights Journal, edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

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