The Visitors Book

The Visitors Book cover

The Visitors’ Book (or Silva Rerum): An Erotic Fable

A Novel by Elizabeth Boleman-Herring

The number of women who have written bravura erotic masterpieces may be counted on one digit-challenged hand. Another, however, has joined this tiny sisterhood, which includes Sappho, Nin and whoever really wrote The Story of O: Elizabeth Boleman-Herring.

In July of 2021, sophisticated, well-heeled travelers from all over the world repair to The Mala, an exclusive  boutique-resort perched atop the vertiginous cliffs of Oïa/Imerovigli, Santorini. Here, in each of the resort’s six stunning, eccentric villas, visitors know they can count on the owner, the mysterious Kírkē, and her expert staff, to provide for their every creature comfort . . . as well as fulfill their long-unvoiced and secret desires.

The Visitor's Book back coverVisitors leave behind not only their hearts at The Mala; they also feel free to record the details of their unforgettable sojourns—in writing, line drawings, and song. For years, Kírkē, the Mala’s American owner (and namesake of the legendary sorceress who enchanted Odysseus), has encouraged her guests to reveal their thoughts, dreams, longings and souls in volume after volume of her villas’ “Visitors’ Books.” Jaded businessmen, naïve honeymooners, would-be suicides, earnest volcanologists (always with an unwilling teenage daughter in tow)—all come to The Mala, and depart, transformed. We also meet the inscrutable staff of the Cycladic resort: a trio of incredibly efficient, discreet, and achingly handsome Albanians—as well as Lars, a nonpareil masseur and artist, whose libido is as formidable as his more conventionally marketable skills. Most important, woven in like a silken weft and woof amongst the musings of her visitors, Kírkē writes her own story, describing an exotic odyssey filled with erotic escapades, bottomless yearning, and unbearable tragedy. Like travelers to The Mala, readers of The Visitors’ Book (or, Silva Rerum) will reach the book’s final page amused, aroused, and deeply altered.

The recollections of The Mala’s piebald pilgrims read like a modern-day sequel to “The Canterbury Tales,” tender, bawdy, comical, bittersweet, erotic, and illuminating. But the book also channels the best of Miller, Nin, O (“The Story of . . .”), and Jong’s magic and passion, with a soupçon of Mailer and Updike. This is literate erotica very much written by a woman.

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring is an internationally and prolifically published author of memoirs, travel books, poetry, jazz lyrics, coffee table picture books, children’s books for multicultural children; and thousands of columns, reviews and speculative essays. Foremost among her publications are Greek Unorthodox: Bande à Part & A Farewell To Ikaros; Vanishing Greece; Ruminant With A View; The Crowded Bed: Erotic, Light & Formal Verse (Intro. By Patrick Leigh Fermor); The Other Side of the Road; The First of Everso; and Insight Pocket Guides (to Athens & Environs; Atlanta; Corfu & Paxos; Aegean Islands: Mykonos & Santorini, Naxos & Paros). Boleman-Herring, a former professor of literature, journalism, and creative nonfiction, both at American and Greek universities, and founder, editor, and publisher of myriad journals, has also joined Arianna Huffington’s ranks as a columnist.

About The Author

Elizabeth-Boleman-Herring-3

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring, Publishing-Editor of Weekly Hubris, and a columnist for The Huffington Post, considers herself an Outsider Artist (of Ink), a bargain-basement love-child of Lenny Bruce, Sylvia Plath and Erma Bombeck. Of especial note is her recent publication of The Visitors’ Book (or Silva Rerum): An Erotic Fable (purchase the novel below on this page at the Buy The Book heading). Her personal columns (written sans mask) make some readers squirm; her political columns, usually incendiary, make other readers squirm. (Boleman-Herring believes squirming is the 21st century’s antidote to sitting on the sofa watching “American Idol” and “Fixed News.”) Thirty years an academic, she has also worked steadily as a founding-editor of journals, magazines, and newspapers, and is the author of 15 books. Three other hats Boleman-Herring wears are those of a Traditional Usui Reiki Master, an Iyengar-Style Yoga teacher (who, through www.GreeceTraveler.com, leads trips to Greece) and, as “Bebe Herring,” a jazz lyricist for the likes of Thelonious Monk, Kenny Dorham, and Bill Evans. Boleman-Herring would also have you know she’s a dual national, a cook and housekeeper of surpassing mediocrity, a crack shot, one of South Carolina’s few card-carrying Liberal Bleeding Hearts . . . whose astrological sign is Eeyore, with Tigger rising. (Her memoir, Greek Unorthodox: Bande a Part & A Farewell To Ikaros, is available throughwww.GreeceInPrint.com)

Author Photo: Dionysis Tsipiras

Glossary

Click to view the glossary: The Visitors Book Glossary.

Sample Chapter

The sample chapter is excerpted from “Kírkē’s Diary.”

Click to view the sample chapter: The-Visitors-Book-Sample-Kirke’s-Diary.

Buy The Book

To purchase the newest, third edition of the novel on Kindle (via Amazon.com) , click through to The Visitors’ Book/Kindle Version.

Purchase Signed Copy:

The Visitors Book cover

To order, signed, personalized, first-edition copies of the limited initial first printing (200 copies; 176 pages) of The Visitors’ Book, click the Add to Cart button to purchase using the security of PayPal. Note: there are very, very few copies of the second edition left in-house.


Purchase Signed Copy With Glossary:

To order signed, personalized, second-edition copies of the limited second printing (150 copies, 208 pages, including Glossary) of The Visitors’ Book, click the Add to Cart button to purchase using the security of PayPal. Note: Sorry, the first edition is completely sold out.


The Author Thanks

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring would like to thank the following hoteliers, composers, artists, poets and presses for their generous support of her novel:

Ikies Traditional Houses, Oia, Santorini, Greece, for . . . inspiration (www.ikies.com)

Painter and gallerist, Christoforos Asimis, of Phenomenon Gallery, Phira, Santorini, Greece, for the use of his original sketches of Santorini (http://www.greecetraveler.com/index.php?page=shopping)

Poet Leslie Ullman and the University of Iowa Press, for sections of Ullman’s poem, “Calypso,” from her book, “Slow Work Through Sand,” University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, Iowa, 1998 (http://www.uiowapress.org/ ;http://www.leslieullman.com/)

Poet Alice Fulton and Sarabande Books, for sections of Fulton’s “Cascade Experiment,” from her book, “Powers of Congress,” Sarabande Books, Louisville, Kentucky, 1990; 2001 (http://www.sarabandebooks.org/ ;http://alicefulton.com/index.html)

Poet Roald Hoffman and Truman State University Press for “Tsunami,” from Hoffman’s collection, “Soliton: Poems” (New Odyssey Series), Truman State University Press, Kirksville, Missouri, 2011 (http://tsup.truman.edu/ ;www.roaldhoffman.com/)

Composer and big band leader, Cecilia Coleman (lyric by Bebe Herring), for the composition, “After & Before” (www.CeciliaColeman.com)

Poet, author and polymath, Willis Barnstone, for his translation of Ibycus’s poem from “The Greek Anthology” (http://www.willisbarnstone.com/WillisBarnstone.com__The_official_Willis_Barnstone.html)

and

Photographer Doris Athanassakis

About Elizabeth Boleman-Herring

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring, Publishing-Editor of Weekly Hubris, and a columnist for The Huffington Post, considers herself an Outsider Artist (of Ink); a bargain-basement love-child of Lenny Bruce and Sylvia Plath (out of Erma Bombeck). The most recent of her 15 books is The Visitors’ Book (or Silva Rerum): An Erotic Fable. Her personal columns (written sans mask) make some readers squirm; her political columns, usually incendiary, make other readers squirm. (Boleman-Herring believes squirming is the 21st century’s antidote to sitting on the sofa watching “America’s Got Talent” and “Project Runway.”) Thirty years an academic, she has also worked steadily as a founding-editor of journals, magazines and newspapers in her two homelands, Greece and America. Three other hats Boleman-Herring has at times worn are those of a Traditional Usui Reiki Master, an Iyengar-Style Yoga teacher and, as “Bebe Herring,” a jazz lyricist for the likes of Thelonious Monk, Kenny Dorham, and Bill Evans. (Her online Greek travel guide is accessible at www.GreeceTraveler.com, and her memoir, Greek Unorthodox: Bande a Part & A Farewell To Ikaros, is available through www.GreeceInPrint.com.)

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3 Responses to The Visitors Book

  1. Gayle Smith says:

    Little more to say of THE VISITORS’ BOOK more articulate than what can be found on the pages describing the book. I serindipidly came upon the work when a neighbor stopped by with book in hand explaining how Elizabeth visited the botique in The Villages, Florida, wheere my neighbor, Jan, works and Jan became recipient of a signed copy and a conversation with the author. I say to you, Elizabeth Boleman-Herring, I’m awed and amazed–with myself–to engage in such a reading. Twenty years ago it would have smacked satanic (I was 50) and today it touches me warm, enveloping my aging body and mind and sending both to an awakening awareness of my days; my hours; my minutes; my seconds. I read all the FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY novels and can’t even remember how she spells gray/grey or if it’s 50 or Fifty. The books were interesting and erotic, and offered entertainment as well as education. I kept reading expecting it to get better and probably wanted a happily-ever-after ending more like my jaded concept of Cinderella. Plainly, I couldn’t put your book down and I fell in love with the essence who wrote the words on those pages and I intend to read it again. I never read a book twice on purpose. I have no knowledge of Greece and it’s vicinity except on a map, and the recent news of seriously poor financial management in that country. I’ve never left the United States–oh, there was that one passing on a highway in Canada on my way to New York. But, now I feel like I’ve been evereywhere. Thank you ELizabeth Boleman-Herring. P.S. “Huffington Post” is my favorite source of action and inaction. P.P.S Where do you expect to be in 2011 and what will you be doing? Hugs, Gayle

  2. Elizabeth Boleman-Herring says:

    Gayle, I’m bowled over! At 70, you are Kirke’s age, and I am thrilled she has touched your heart and soul! Let’s meet: we’re practically neighbors!

  3. Dora Kitinas-Gogos says:

    I know about the argument about hard back and on line books. I have a house full of hardbacks but I also have countless books on my kindle and iPad. I travel a lot which is the reason I would of loved to have downloaded this book from Amazon or iBooks. I’m leaving in a few days to wonder around Greece for 5 months and would of loved to be able to read this while traveling.
    I also live in Australia so not sure it its available in book stores.

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