Guest Post by Kevin Brown
On the surface, I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai looks like another addition to the true crime genre, an appearance reinforced by the fact that Bodie Kane runs a podcast devoted to true crime. She returns to the boarding school she attended as a student to teach classes on podcasting and film studies, only for one of her students to work on a podcast investigating the death of one of Bodie’s classmates. However, Makkai goes well beyond this genre—subverting it at times, in fact—to explore the patriarchal structures women have to navigate on a daily basis and the real risks to their safety that come up again and again. Makkai has written a novel that raises questions about masculinity, internet culture, true crime, feminism, privilege, and justice, but she doesn’t provide any answers, as good novels are wont to do. The impressive part is that she has done all of that while telling a compelling story with characters readers care about. Readers will want to turn the page, not to find out about one more murder or microaggression, but to see what happens to Bodie and her classmates and students. Hopefully, they’ll see the world differently by the time they find out what has happened, as well.
I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai. Viking, February 2023.
Reviewer bio: Kevin Brown has published three books of poetry: Liturgical Calendar: Poems (Wipf and Stock); A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press); and Exit Lines (Plain View Press). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again, and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels. Twitter @kevinbrownwrite or kevinbrownwrites.weebly.com/.