McKenzie Brandon

The Little Princess

On the surface, this project is a pastiche, a satirical reflection based on The Little Prince, hence the name, The Little Princess. In both books, a character undertakes a journey that requires them to look beneath the surface in order to ascertain truth. While in The Little Prince, the role of the female character is almost trivial—the little prince’s rose is a possession. The female characters he encounters are few and their characteristics stereotype women. The journey in The Little Princess plays off of the subtle and not so subtle misogyny of The Little Prince as it explores a subtle and not so subtle abusive relationship involving gaslighting. The mirror of irony is continued throughout the main character’s journey and exploration of wisdom that lies beneath the surface and beyond the whimsy and tragedy of childhood and life.

Click on the image to read an excerpt from The Little Princess.

The unique planets presented are different aspects of the relationship and scenes are driven by a character who is quite lost. While the planets and scenes are filled with whimsy and child-like wonder, there is an undercurrent of darkness that runs through them. While no place visited is overtly perilous, an unease that is hard to pinpoint exists throughout, mirroring the experience of being gaslit. Each chapter signifies an aspect of the relationship, presenting a metaphorical look at the experience followed by a reflection on the experience.

This project was important to me as it helped me to make sense of an abusive relationship that came to an abrupt end during a time period when I was very physically ill. The process of creating this book has shaped and reshaped my understanding of relationships and sense of self. I learned to hold both whimsy and tragedy gently without having all of the answers but being able to trust more in myself and my ability to determine my reality.

ARTIST STATEMENT: McKenzie Brandon was raised in a household that fostered and encouraged creative learning. They grew up looking at creativity being an integral part of life. This aided them later in life when they discovered that they had learning disabilities. In turn, they used creativity as an outlet for processing their relationship with their environment. McKenzie grew up in the Tri-state area of New England, raised by wolves. According to their French brother-in-law this was termed an appropriate description of their familial existence.

PROFESSIONAL DIRECTION/CAREER ASPIRATION: To be honest I still do not know. Writer, artist, photographer, or game designer.


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