Kleptomaniacs, convicts, roof-walkers and homicidal hippies: populated as they are with lives both ordinary and extraordinary, Heather Birrell's stories pull at the sinews of the strange until the strangeness shapes itself into something familiar. At the same time, they mould the day-to-day into something new and wholly unexpected. Oldrick must come to terms with his ex-girlfriend's new lover and a belligerent barista in the midst of a smelly garbage strike. Young Misha learns about the complexities of grownup love when his mother is bitten by a stingray. Home-schooled Rational gets a tutor and learns that his 'hunker in the bunker' family isn't quite what he thought it was, and bus-bound Marion, in love with a married man, finds solace in conversation with a convict. The stories in I know you are but what am I? are like snow domes -- perfect little self-contained worlds that you can hold in your hand, turn upside down, shake until the meaning settles in a hundred different ways. Here are children and adults, men and women, all struggling to define themselves, all searching for ways to belong. This is a lucid, dextrous collection that marks the ascension of a writer to watch.
Buy I Know You are But What am I? book by Heather Birrell from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(203mm x 127mm x 19mm)
Coach House Books
Publisher: Coach House Books
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Author Biography - Heather Birrell
Heather Birrell's short fiction has appeared in Prism International, The New Quarterly, Descant, Matrix and She Writes, and she has twice been included in the Journey Prize Anthology. She is a fellow of Spain's Fundacion Valparaiso and the MacDowell Colony, and was the recipient of Concordia's David McKeen Award for best creative writing thesis. A teacher and traveller, she lives in Toronto with her partner Charles Checketts.