Some might value a necklace, guitar, or pencil the most in their lives. Northern Arizona University Associate Professor of Creative Writing, Nicole Walker, has an interesting relationship with eggs that she shares in her object lesson oriented book Egg. The inside cover describes these different perspectives perfectly when it says readers can expect to learn about "eggs as food, as art object, as metaphor and feminist symbol, as cultural icon." This is a book you do not want to miss. You will discover valuable life and writing lessons that can immediately impact your life.
Walker also drives Egg forward by incorporating personal experiences. For example, she brilliantly compares the tenderness of children to the fragility of eggs. Walker's young daughter has a science experiment and Walker wants to toughen up her daughter. She is a bit harsh when she tells her daughter that she must be more independent and carry out the experiment without too much assistance. However, like an egg’s porous membrane, her daughter breaks down in tears due to Walker's rough tone (125). Walker offers her help in the experiment and does her best to repair her daughter by comforting her. Walker’s experiment demonstrates osmosis by dissolving the egg’s shell but keeping the egg’s membrane intact in the process. However, when boiling and cooling the eggs for the experiment, a couple of the eggs crack. While this may seem like the experiment would be ruined, Walker manages to salvage the project. She cools the eggs for the second time during the experiment; the process causes the egg shells restitch themselves (127). This makeshift fix is similar to the solution to Walker’s daughter’s meltdown.While having a thick shell helps in this cruel world, some people are just more sensitive than others. Walker’s child's metaphorical egg was cracked just like the eggs used in the experiment. Her solution might not be a perfect fix, but Walker does what she can. Words can be painful but also can be constructive and help someone regain composure. It is important to get back up after being hurt.
Egg relies heavily on recipes to make its points. Throughout the book's descriptive pages, recipes show us how to make different meals using eggs like hollandaise, egg casserole, and tea egg. However, these recipes always wrap back around to reveal a deeper message. In one chapter, Walker explains how to make a perfect hollandaise, but then gets philosophical in the form of hypothetical recipes. Walker starts off with a recipe titled "How to cook a planet" and gives readers a Big-Bang-esque explanation of a creation story. She ties the story in with making a soufflé, which Walker dubs "the best creation story" because of all the components and factors that come together to make the fluffy treat (35). However, we must remember that Walker reminds us even magnificent things are destructible. Walker warns that opening the door of the oven could ruin the meal, which leads into the next life lesson. The following recipe is one for global warming, which includes our Earth, its components, and 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide (35). Walker suggests it is just as easy to ruin a planet as it is to crack an egg. Pollution will easily destroy a beautiful thing, like when an egg is mishandled and breaks suddenly. While reading this book definitely will make egg lovers salivate, readers are left with something so much more valuable: a lesson about what is killing our planet.
Readers will never get a more unique outlook on eggs than from the brilliant mind of Walker in this object lesson. Along the way, they will learn some valuable life lessons as well because Walker has so many priceless stories to share. For those wondering, yes, Walker does go over the age long question and variants of "What came first, the egg or the chicken?" But, I'll let you find out that answer for yourself. Pick up a copy of Egg today at the Northern Arizona bookstore, Bloomsbury Publishing, or Amazon. I guarantee that you will learn more about eggs and leave with something much more valuable. While I now know how to cook the perfect soufflé, but more importantly I have become more aware of the planet's problems. At its current state, Earth will be destroyed by our mismanagement. Walker has urged me, the reader, to take action. Will you?