I Know You Know Who I Am

I Know You Know Who I Am

Stories

Book - 2020
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"In the linked and tightly thematic stories of I KNOW YOU KNOW WHO I AM, Kispert explores deception, performance, and the uneasiness of reconciling a queer identity with the wider world, with characters who try to navigate that dissonance by acting like another person for someone else. Throughout the collection we meet gay characters who have created sometimes elaborate falsehoods and who now must cope with the way that those deceptions eat at the very fabric of their lives and relationships. In the title story, the protagonist, desperate to save a love affair on the rocks, hires an actor to play an invented friend during an arranged meeting with his boyfriend; in "Aim for the Heart", the main character's lies about a hunting habit have left him with an unexpected deer carcass and the need to parse unsettling high school memories; in "Mooring", a trip back to the protagonist's unexpectedly dilapidated childhood home reveals the ways that he has warped the truth in his current relationship when describing his feelings about his father. Throughout the book, moments of deception collide with moments of high-stakes and at times hyper-real performance, creating a stunning portrait of queer characters searching for paths to intimacy and attempting to deal with their own vulnerability. I KNOW YOU KNOW WHO I AM is a densely woven collection about emotional damage in the tradition of Mary Gaitskill's BAD BEHAVIOR". --

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