On the surface, Kate Carroll de Gutes’ debut collection of essays considers her sexuality, gender presentation, and the end of her marriage. But, as editor Judith Kitchen says, “peel it back, begin to take it apart, both semantically and linguistically and personally, and it all comes clear.”
Kate Carroll de Gutes invites readers to become collaborators in essays about issues we all face: growing up, identity, love, loss, and sometimes, the quest for the perfect fashion accessory. With wit matched by self-compassion and empathy, the essays offer a lesson on the inevitable journey back to the places where we begin.
You are both lying there not sleeping and breathing much too fast. And maybe you are whispering to each other, your heads close together. Maybe your foreheads are touching. Or maybe not. At any rate, you surely are whispering because your parents’ bedroom is right on the other side of yours. You can hear your father snoring. You can also hear the TV in the family room and you know your mother is still awake, smoking and watching Johnny Carson. You are whispering because you don’t want to get caught awake, thinking the thoughts you are thinking.
Then, you don’t know how it happens, but suddenly the sides of your mouths are touching. Maybe you both turned toward each other too quickly. It’s hard to say. But, at any rate, you are kissing. Quite suddenly. All at once. Finally. At last.
“The thrust is backwards, but the tenses keep it fluid and agile—able to take the flashbacks in past tense, the flash forward in future perfect, and the several reprises where you either meditate from beyond the actual moment of the piece.” —From Judith Kitchen’s Introduction
Kate Carroll de Gutes is a wry observer and writer who started her career as a journalist and then got excited by new journalism which became creative nonfiction and is now called essay (personal, lyric, and otherwise). Kate holds an MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and lives in Portland, Oregon where she rides bikes, eats gluten free pastry, and can be seen occasionally wearing a whimsical, patterned tie. You can learn more about Kate, and listen to interviews as well as a musical interpretation of one of her essays at www.katecarrolldegutes.com.
Available in June 2015
An independent press dedicated to the publication of experimental literary nonfiction