Anthony Alaniz reviews Dodie Bellamy

EMU student Anthony Alaniz reviews Dodie Bellamy’s recent BathHouse reading:

Whistle While You Dixie and Bellamy

 “I was on an adventure,” proclaimed Bellamy as she read from her hard-to-find book, Whistle While You Dixie in the Eastern Michigan University Student Center Auditorium on February 7, 2012.

Whistle While You Dixie is split into an essay and a narrative.  The essay encompassed the first half of her hour long reading and divulged into such topics as the blatant sexual overtones of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, at least according to Bellamy.

Sadly, though, one cannot watch Snow White in the same, childish, way again, after Bellamy’s explicit reading.

Bellamy excels when she begins to dive into her narrative.

Her power and, what some would say, her nonchalant attitude towards sexuality and the human experience, courses through her slight frame as she reads while recounting her experience on returning home to Indiana.

She meets a young boy who is, “too young to be taken seriously.”

It is her conversational tone through, not only the narrative, but the essay as well, that make her reading, and of course her writing, approachable and easily relatable to any young reader or writer who have had any human experience with sexuality.

The greatest moment of the reading, though, wasn’t the reading at all.  The question and answer session afterwards gave great insights to Bellamy’s own thinking about writing.

When asked if the proliferation of technology would make it easier for writers to reach great popularity, she said, “I don’t know if new technology will make that possible.”

Bellamy’s greatest literary quality is her honesty both in writing and in lecture, yet the true gem to Bellamy is hearing her read her experiences.

Granted, like every writer, she wants them to think, “That I’m brilliant.”  After the reading, I have to agree with her.

Listening to Bellamy as she recounts mundane events should make a writer, like it did me, realize and understand that there is almost always a story in life itself.  This is something Bellamy excels at, especially in Whistle While You Dixie.