Who I was Supposed To Be: Short Stories

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Simon and Schuster, Apr 19, 2001 - Fiction - 192 pages
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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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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 author of the collections of short stories, Who I Was Supposed to Be and Why They Run the Way They Do, and the novels The Broken Places and The Fall of Lisa Bellow. Her fiction has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize Stories, and New Stories from the South, and has appeared in numerous magazines, including One Story, Glimmer Train, The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, and The Sun. She is Writer in Residence and professor of English at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and on the faculty of the low-residency MFA Program at Queens University. She holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

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