Impossible Princess

Impossible Princess

4.5 2
by Kevin Killian
     
 

“Whatever his subject matter, Killian maintains full authority—offering up a homoerotic interpretation of Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find and a brilliant imagined history of Hank Williams. Here, under the author’s careful control and easygoing charisma, everything seems up for grabs, and almost anything seems

Overview

“Whatever his subject matter, Killian maintains full authority—offering up a homoerotic interpretation of Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find and a brilliant imagined history of Hank Williams. Here, under the author’s careful control and easygoing charisma, everything seems up for grabs, and almost anything seems possible.”—Time Out New York

Impossible Princess is the third collection of gay short fiction by PEN Award–winning San Francisco–based author Kevin Killian. A member of the “new narrative” circle including Dennis Cooper and Kathy Acker, Killian is a master short story writer, crafting campy and edgy tales that explore the humor and darkness of desire. A former director of Small Press Traffic and a co-editor of Mirage/Periodical, Killian co-wrote Jack Spicer’s biography, Poet Be Like God, and co-edited three Spicer books, including My Vocabulary Did This To Me: Collected Poems. His latest book, Action Kylie, is a collection of poems devoted to Kylie Minogue.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ten homoerotic stories by Killian (Spreadeagle) explore startling encounters between the straight and gay worlds. Several of the stories, set in the 1970s, appeared in Killian's previous collections, such as “Hot Lights,” in which a strapped-for-cash student gets hired for a hardcore porn shoot, and “Spurt,” set in a Long Island motel where a couple of commuters congregate to indulge in morbid sex. Others are elaborate romances, such as “Dietmar Lutz Mon Amour,” where an erotic encounter with a security guard in the basement of San Francisco's De Young museum provides a fulfilling intellectual kinship for the married narrator, and “Too Far,” in which a straight swimming pool salesman from Maryland clearly wants to experiment with a man at a party, though he may get more than he anticipates. Killian is best being self-consciously writerly, as in “Rochester,” in which a naïve writer arrives at the dilapidated home of the legendary writer “Kevin Killian,” only to discover a decrepit has-been who keeps a pet chimpanzee typing in the bedroom. Fans of Killian's work will be pleased to find fresh stimulation with shades of Dennis Cooper. (Nov.)
Fanzine
Readers familiar with Killian's earlier work, no matter how familiar they believe themselves to be, are entering foreign terrain. It's much darker here in the framing, but just as fantastic. Familiar or not, it's a place worth seeing.
—Jesse Hudson
Peter Dube
. . . in [Killian's] pages, characters don't so much stumble into experience as embrace it, tear it apart, and ache for more and different kinds of it. His body of work, which includes (and hybridizes) fiction, poetry, the memoir and the essay, is marked by a playful rigor and an openness that takes nothing at face value. It wields an uncanny ability to be penetrating and generous at once. All these are qualities that have made him — deservedly — a cult figure among discerning readers everywhere.
Ashé Journal
Juliette Tang
When it comes to unpretty and unsentimental sex shed of the layers of accumulated euphemism, Killian doles it out in spades whether readers are prepared for it or not.
San Francisco Bay Guardian
Book Marks
What's the secret of Killian's prodigious talents with prose, poetry, plays, biographies - and, as is the case with most of the tales in this genius collection, literary porn? All is revealed in 'Rochester' (written with Tony Leuzzi), in which a star-struck reader of 'this great man' finally meets 'Kevin Killian' after hot and heavy e-mail correspondence - only to find he's a dirty old man living with a chimpanzee who hammers out stories for him on a battered electric typewriter. 'Spurt,' more grounded in morose reality, is about a jaded commuter's motel trysts with damaged men; erotic fantasy also fuels 'Too Far,' in which a virginal, sexually confused swimming pool salesman, obsessed by Kylie Minogue, meets a has-been British pop star who tickles his libido. Five of the 10 short stories in this exhilarating collection by one of gay lit's luminaries are reprints - but because the books in which they originally appeared are long out of print, and because they're so darned good, this collection is better than new.
—Richard Labonte
Bay Area Reporter
In the new stories of Impossible Princess, Killian's only gotten more edgy, imaginative, funny and weirdo, bonko, crazy sexy. It's amazing the way he blends such wild provocations of porn with immersion in pop culture and philosophical musings. He's a pretty unique writer, stimulating a reader from brain to bone.
&$151;John F. Karr
Time Out New York
Whatever his subject matter, Killian maintains full authority-offering up a homoerotic interpretation of Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find and a brilliant imagined history of Hank Williams. Here, under the author's careful control and easygoing charisma, everything seems up for grabs, and almost anything seems possible.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780872865280
Publisher:
City Lights Books
Publication date:
11/01/2009
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

Colin Herd
'What portion of one's personality is a fiction?' . . . It's a question that swims through [Impossible Princess] . . . It swims through, dives in, submerges itself, reemerges and winsomely skinny-dips in the at times murky, at turns sparkling ponds of Killian's energetic, muscular, sassy, exquisite prose.
Chroma

Meet the Author


Kevin Killian has written a book of poetry, Argento Series, novels Shy and Arctic Summer, a memoir, Bedrooms Have Windows, and short story collections Little Men, a PEN Oakland award winner, and I Cry Like a Baby. Killian co-wrote Jack Spicer's biography, Poet Be Like God, and co-edited Spicer's The Train of Thought, The Tower of Babel, and collected poems.

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Impossible Princess 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
SalvinaSlack More than 1 year ago
Naughty nuns & a saintly whore, there's more to the Messserole women than meets the eye, aye! Three generations, five women strong, embroiled in secrets that could obliterate their entire lineage....Mysteries ingrained in love affairs promise devastation should they come to the fore of inexorable revelations....Marie finds a unique way to reunite with her three daughters after 20 years of discreet absentia, when all hell breaks loose for her matriarchal mother-in-law, Momma Markie....But heaven reigns for the others as mysteires unravel and reveal themselves. Love blossoms for Jolie, C.O. and Starrlyn ("oddly" enough). Hm.... An indescribably intelligent, witty, original new writer(new to me, that is), and what an authorial voice! Ana O, I love you so! (See, I made a rhyme in your honor, O queen of such musical words! You are Mistress of the Motif!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago