Live via Zoom:
Monday, November 22, 7:30 PM ET
Dodie Bellamy presents Bee Reaved and The Letters of Mina Harker
In conversation with Derek McCormack
Greenlight is thrilled to welcome Dodie Bellamy—prolific, genre-bending experimental novelist, poet, and essayist—to our virtual stage to present Bee Reaved, her new collection of essays on disenfranchisement, vulgarity, American working-class life, aesthetic values, and profound embarrassment, and the new edition by Semiotext(e) of her debut novel The Letters of Mina Harker. The essays in Bee Reaved, written over three decades and selected by Bellamy after the death of Kevin Killiam, her companion and husband of thirty-three years, circle loss and abandonment in forms large and small with shocking—and often hilarious—candor, deep intelligence and intimacy. The Letters of Mina Harker, first published in 1998, revivifies the central female character from Bram Stoker’s Dracula as an independent woman living in San Francisco during the 80s—not unlike Bellamy herself, who turns the novel into a laboratory of transmutations between the two women and the story into the gaps and slippages between them as they fight to inhabit their sexuality despite feelings of vulnerability and destruction. Bellamy is joined in conversation by Derek McCormack (Castle Faggot, The Well-Dressed Wound).
This new collection of essays, selected by Dodie Bellamy after the death of Kevin Killian, her companion and husband of thirty-three years, circles around loss and abandonment large and small. Bellamy's highly focused selection comprises pieces written over three decades, in which the themes consistent within her work emerge with new force and clarity: disenfranchisement, vulgarity, American working-class life, aesthetic values, profound embarrassment. Bellamy writes with shocking, and often hilarious, candor about the experience of turning her literary archive over to the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale and about being targeted by an enraged online anti-capitalist stalker. Just as she did in her previous essay collection, When The Sick Rule The World, Bellamy examines aspects of contemporary life with deep intelligence, intimacy, ambivalence, and calm.
First published in 1998, Dodie Bellamy's debut novel The Letters of Mina Harker sought to resuscitate the central female character from Bram Stoker's Dracula and reimagine her as an independent woman living in San Francisco during the 1980s--a woman not unlike Dodie Bellamy. Harker confesses the most intimate details of her relationships with four different men in a series of letters. Vampirizing Mina Harker, Bellamy turns the novel into a laboratory: a series of attempted transmutations between the two women in which the real story occurs in the gaps and the slippages. Lampooning the intellectual theory-speak of that era, Bellamy's narrator fights to inhabit her own sexuality despite feelings of vulnerability and destruction. Stylish but ruthlessly unpretentious, The Letters of Mina Harker was Bellamy's first major claim to the literary space she would come to inhabit.
A dark satire about an amusement park more deranged than anything Disney could imagine: a playland for gay men called Faggotland.