BOOK REVIEW: "I know You Know Who I Am: Stories" By Peter Kispert
Nothing is more shattering than learning someone you love or know has lied to you. How do you begin to trust them again? What compels these people to lie to us? If we forgive them, how do we know they won’t lie again?
In Peter Kispert’s “I Know You Know Who I Am: Stories,” the reader is taken through 21 short stories but a rollercoaster of lies. In the first story and title of the book, we are thrown into the world of a man who feels that he needs to fabricate almost every part of his life – for what, to save his apparently failing relationship? No, it had been doomed from the start, with the first lie he told to his soon-to-be ex-boyfriend.
These lies within the short stories these characters tell paint a much larger story, perhaps hinting at the trauma most people in the LGBTQ+ community experiences throughout our lives? Perhaps not. Only Kispert knows.
Kispert writes in such a way that these characters becoming haunting; making me question if anyone one in my life had lied to me the way these characters had. His prose is beautiful and wordy but not overwhelming.
These short stories are intriguing, engulfing and all-consuming. It’s easy to finish the entire book, cover to cover, in one day.
THE ONE GRIPE: With the exception of one short story including a lesbian, the rest are of gay, white and presumably cisgender white men. While there’s a very small feeling of “well, at least no one was misrepresented,” it left much to be desired.
Kispert’s work, both nonfiction and fiction, have appeared in GQ, Esquire, Playboy, Electric Literature, amongst others.
This debut author's first book leaves us with the question: “What will come next?”
Whatever it is. we’re ready.