The Story Behind the Story: “Girl in Doubt”

This story was written solo, but exists as part of a collaborative manuscript co-written with Aimee Parkison. While we wrote some of the material as individual authors, the bulk of the stories were collaborations, all centered on the theme of women and girls in confinement and captivity. Aimee and I titled our book “Girl Zoo,” and each chapter begins with the words “Girl in …”

My impetus for writing “Girl in Doubt” came from writing several stories where the protagonist was in immediate danger. Yet so often the fear of danger operates even when there is no danger, serves as a force of control, even as mental torture. So I created a protagonist whose uncertainty about whether she is or isn’t in danger is, itself, dangerous. Her inability to read signals, to trust herself, to know whether or not to trust others creates a constant state of dread and anxiety.

Although Aimee and I began working on our book before the “Me, Too” movement took hold in the popular public sphere, we are excited to follow the rising national discourse on gender, sexuality, race, and consent.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Featured Fiction New Fiction
Sort by

“Girl in Doubt”

I might be in trouble. I might be about to die. I might be in trouble, serious trouble. I can’t tell i
2018-12-17 11:24:27
guessc

10

“Unbeknownst to Me”

Unbeknownst to me my husband started teaching himself German. This is exactly the kind of thing my husband does. Our
2020-04-13 10:36:43
stephdkarp

8

“Holy Water”

DeWitt and I were swimming in his backyard when Elizabeth came over.  Elizabeth Perryman, she was a whole
2020-03-16 14:53:16
timfitts

8

“Trainer”

My daily walk at the mall had become a relatively peaceful part of my day. I saw a handful of other walkers
2019-11-25 11:04:32
glenpourciau

8

“And They Were Sore Afraid”

At the time I was sure I was dying. My heart was erratic, my knees locked regularly,
2019-11-01 23:57:12
cmpoolehall

8

“Been Ingenious”

People called Ricky ingenious whether they thought it true or not. Most folks choose to remain blithely ignorant to
2019-09-09 11:06:24
jason-graff

8

“God and the Unicorn”

At the fork in the road between here and there, the elderly professor ran smack into a unicorn. “Sorry, I wasn’t pay
2019-02-25 09:08:14
raburton

8

“To Know”

Double-hung window, plantation shutters the color of ripe mangoes drawn open. On the street below: the new fire
2019-02-18 11:22:09
anolsen

8

“No Access Beyond This Point”

I was fine heading into work, but then the excruciating, as I once thought of it, happened when I stopped in at my
2019-02-06 17:46:53
cadylw

8

“Running for Avocados and Writing from Bears”

Chad Lutz Alice Walker Graduate Workshop October 17,
2019-02-03 11:01:30
chadlutz11386

8

About Carol Guess

Carol Guess is the author of numerous books of poetry and prose, including Darling Endangered, Doll Studies: Forensics, and Tinderbox Lawn. A frequent collaborator, she has co-authored several books, including The Reckless Remainder and With Animal (both with Kelly Magee). In 2014 she was awarded the Philolexian Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement by Columbia University. She teaches in the MFA program at Western Washington University.