“I am a woman who shouts into the sea.” from “Women and the Global Imagination: The Isle of Exile” at Prairie Schooner.
Who She Is
I found this bio online, but as usual, bios only tell you the facts: ‘Gabrielle Bellot, who has also written under J. Bellot, holds an MFA from Florida State University, where she is currently a PhD Candidate in fiction. She has contributed work to Prairie Schooner, The Missouri Review, Small Axe’s sx salon, The SouthEast Review, and other journals. She grew up in the Commonwealth of Dominica, where she has worked as a member of a committee for the Nature Island Literary Festival. She is working on her first novel.’
Why You Should Read Her
Nancy Jooyoun Kim suggested Gabrielle Bellot for This Writer’s On Fire and she was so right.
Gabrielle Bellot bends the boundaries between what we think of as fiction and non-fiction. Not in the way of lies or half-truth, but of the deeper truths that don’t come easily into the light. She’s reminding us that the world, its nations, its people are made of stories. A ‘fact’ a ‘history’ is just a kind of story that gets told by enough people to become the story everyone accepts and tells themselves over and over every day. Like ‘America’ or ‘woman.’ Sometimes the only way we can see these stories is through fiction.
Gender is one of the stories we are telling ourselves as the world tells its own story about gender, about our bodies and how they are, how they should be. This ‘should be’ is a kind of violence, a kind of magic because we cannot see it working. Gabrielle Bellot is doing the hard work of revealing it for us in ways that are beautiful and terrible.
Nancy Jooyoun Kim put it best: “It’s work that is not just breathtaking in its lyricism, but demanding on absolutely every level—political, social, emotional, cellular—you name it.” Yes.
Where to Read Her Work
“Flight of the Ruler” at Guernica.
“Women and the Global Imagination: The Isle of Exile” at Prairie Schooner.
“Mind-Body Problems, Rephrased: Murakami, Gender Identity, and Global Literature” at The Missouri Review.