Who I was Supposed To Be: Short Stories

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Simon and Schuster, Apr 19, 2001 - Fiction - 192 pages
5 Reviews
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.

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Review: Who I Was Supposed to Be: Short Stories

User Review  - Phylicia - Goodreads

I've only read "Counting the ways" in school. It's one of those short stories in a textbook. I totally enjoyed it. I can't say why though. Read full review

Review: Who I Was Supposed to Be: Short Stories

User Review  - Melissa Railey - Goodreads

I had never heard of Susan Perabo before my friend bought this book (although I do imagine her as looking something like Piper Perabo). My friend bought this book at a bookstore while we were out. Of ... Read full review

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Page 11 - For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard There isn't any other tale to tell, it's the only light we've got in all this darkness.

About the author (2001)

Susan Perabo is the writer in residence and an associate professor of English at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Her short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Glimmer Train, Story, TriQuarterly, and The Missouri Review, and in the anthologies Best American Short Stories and New Stories from the South. She is the author of a novel, The Broken Places.

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