“With Killer Bees” by Carol Guess and Kelly Magee

Kelly Magee is the author of Your Sick and The Reckless Remainder, a collection of prose poems co-written with Carol Guess, as well as two new books to be released this year and in 2017. Carol Guess is a novelist and poet. Her books Homeschooling, Femme’s Dictionary, and Gaslight were nominated for Lambda Literary Awards. And they are both writers that I am fortunate enough to work with in the next two years!

Guess-and-Magee-cover_web-250x386Magee and Guess partner regularly to create bizarre and fantastic  collections of stories, one of which being With Animal. Our story today, “With Killer Bees,” emerges from this adventurous hodgepodge of women who find themselves pregnant with another species. Be it killer bees, a hippopotamus, a dragon, or even a nebula, the result is haunting, all-consuming, and eye-opening. It’s truly one of the most unique examinations of sexuality, family dynamics and identity that I’ve read in a while and I’m excited to share it with yinz!

Here are some questions for today:

  1. A perspective flip happens when the woman who gives birth tells her story, then it flips back to our original narrator again. They do a better of indicating this in the story, but I think it still begs the question: Is this flip jarring? Does it just serve the purpose of providing backstory or is there more to it?
  2. I’ve paid a lot of attention to sex and gender identity in these stories, because it plays a prominent role in Guess and Magee’s work as they explore diverse relationships. Do you believe at any point that you know the narrator’s gender or sex? Does it matter?
  3. I love the ending, solely for how damn poetic it is. However, I’m still trying to make sense of it. So, join me, won’t you? What do you make of the last few lines, these pleading questions without one, straightforward answer?

That is all for now! (P.S. Sorry for what we did to San Jose in the Stanley Cup. Though I guess I’m not that sorry…)

Mike

 

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