From the Editor’s Perch…by Carl Nelson
[Reprinted here because you know, websites expire, …..but please read it at Carl’s site if you can! ]
Maternal Horror, review of “How I Kiss Her Turning Head,” by Carl Nelson
Jennifer Woodworth’s newest book, How I Kiss Her Turning Head, which is just out by Monkey Puzzle Press, is a most gentle jaunt into the genre of Maternal Horror. ‘Maternal Horror’ is a term I have had to coin myself. But this is not Rosemary’s Baby. This is the Brahms Lullaby of Xtreme Mothering. The baby and child in these stories and sketches comprise a wonderful blessing – so wonderful, that we follow our first person hero as if pushing off down the pipe of some Xtreme Sport … Right down the rabbit hole of maternal instinct, without time to say, “Hello! Goodbye!” into a sort of mental ward where the ordinary and quotidian prerogatives of life conflict to our first person narrator’s charming wonderment. And off we go, as the book paints a gentle rebellion for two.
“I have never wanted anything more than I want babies.” The narrator tells us at the beginning of the first and best story, “Mother of One”. And shortly she adds: