Are we what we think we are – or, instead, are we what others think we are?
Infiltrated by noisy, clamoring visions of how our identity is shaped, in my new book, “Ninety-Eight Point Six … and other stories,” I explore people being defined by happenstance, by odd decisions and accumulations in their lives, by misjudgments, quirks. I write of how we are seen and how we hope to be seen seldom being the same thing. Fiction, yes, but tellingly close to reality, too.
A woman, bored with her own life, creates a new one entirely – on Facebook. A man is measured by the car he drives. No one bothers to tell the new receptionist when the mysterious agency is closed down – and she is seen so differently by those dealing with her. Why does this man move things around at the supermarket, how is the patient seen, who was it that actually died? And more.
Thirteen stories: Each and all as puzzling, complex, as wise and as funny as this life we think we paint for ourselves. Stories rooted in our own worlds woven around a core of a man who loses his identity, a man who gives up his own to take it, the new lives they form, the old ones abandoned.
The age-old gem of identity is the binding theme but with each facet accepting its sparkle differently.
“Ninety-Eight Point Six … and other stories” brings wit, perception and a fascination with how seldom we control our place in life – with amazing consequences.