Behind every face in Who I Was Supposed to Be, Susan Perabo's incandescent, devilishly hilarious debut short story collection, there is something simmering, a singular quirk to explore, a peculiarity to celebrate. In the world of her fiction, nothing can be taken for granted, and there is no such thing as the run of the mill: here, a retired grocer takes up jewel theft in his twilight years; a data processor squanders her inheritance on a gown from Princess Diana's collection; a mugging victim, newly separated from his wife, feigns amnesia to win back her love; a teenage pyromaniac finds release in the company of her mother's jilted second husband.
In the tradition of Lorrie Moore, the stories in this collection celebrate the absence of normalcy, the quirkiness of the human condition, the everyday deviance of "ordinary" people. In story after story, Perabo peels back the layers of the banal and the bizarre, revealing a world that is at once stunning and familiar, shocking yet comforting. Through her slightly off-center lens, she provides a fresh and penetrating look at human nature, giving us a glimpse of the extraordinary in the ordinary, the magic in the smallest of gestures. Her resilient characters are a testament to the undying potential for optimism that gives people a fighting chance despite the twisted, sad world around them.
Written in sharp, incisive prose -- overlaid with a subtle, mischievous wit -- Who I Was Supposed to Be is an exquisite and unforgettable homage to the human capacity for laughter, love, and wonder.
About Susan Perabo
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Published April 19, 2001
by Simon & Schuster.
Literature & Fiction.