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I Know You Know Who I Am: Stories Paperback – 1 January 1900

3.9 out of 5 stars 83 ratings

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Product description


[A] wryly scathing debut. --O, The Oprah Magazine

In this debut collection, Peter Kispert takes a clever premise--stories about liars--and spins an extraordinary tapestry... In stories that are by turns blackly comic, speculative, romantic, and wistful, Kispert toys with the ideas of personal truth, deception (of self and other), and lies from so many angles that, taken as a whole, the collection wows with its insight, daring, and breadth of talent., "12 Best Books of 2020 So Far"

Kispert's stories have remarkable range, but are all anchored by lithe and lucid prose compelling the reader to become complicit in these very human dramas."

Striking... [I Know You Know Who I Am is] about how one slips into dishonesty in relationships and in coming to terms with oneself, the stories reveal through these lies, the truth about us all. --Salon

Piercing... this lively and provocative work crisply reflects the challenges of modern love. --Publishers Weekly

Kispert blends sharp characterization with intriguing premises throughout this memorable collection. --Kirkus (starred)

Kispert's short fiction is a performative lie that reveals truth to readers in subtle, surprising ways that literary fiction lovers will devour... [these] stories dig deep, and they're far from forgettable. --Booklist (starred)

Kispert runs the gamut, oscillating between dystopic horror and giving the reader André Aciman-levels of feels, yet each story is connected -- a powerful two-in-one tool that is transparent as much as it is reflective. --PAPER Magazine

In his debut story collection, Peter Kispert exhibits a cool, sharp style and a finely attuned ear for spare-but-telling dialogue... Might there be a flash of your own reflection in these stories' glimmer and sting? --Passport Magazine

I Know You Know Who I Am presents a kaleidoscope of deception... They seem like perfect stories for this interior moment: a deep dive into what motivates the myths individuals create and what they reveal about the queer experience and the human condition. --Fiction Writers Review

Right from the first line, Peter Kispert's fiction grabs your interest and refuses to let go... Kispert impressively crafts well-developed, affecting stories that are full of depth and sharp prose. Readers will find themselves savoring each one. --The Writer Magazine

In spite of these characters' indubitable violations of moral conduct, I couldn't help but fall in love. The tenderness with which Kispert portrays the liars left me rooting for them, hoping against all hope that they wouldn't destroy themselves, that this time they would get things right. --F(r)iction

This debut collection has a wisdom and a tapestry of language far beyond the author's years. Loosely linked unreliable narrators remind us that we might find religion in the most unlikely places -- such as the space between a truth and a lie." --Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things

Engrossing, unsettling, full of characters in search of their place in the world, I Know You Know Who I Am reminds me in the best possible way of the debut collections of Mary Gaitskill and Adam Haslett, in tone and talent and the promise of what will come next. --David Ebershoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife

This book is a beautiful Russian Nesting Doll: to try, to know, to understand. In these pages, intimacy is often a weapon, a drug, and a salve. Astonishingly tense and terrifically crafted, Kispert's collection is not only a work of art, it's a work of true tenderness. --Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things

"Sometimes you read a collection and you wonder how a mere mortal wrote it because the language is so pure, the depth of emotion so profound... A tour de force: read this book." --Nick White, author of How to Survive a Summer and Sweet & Low

"Cuts right to the bone with startling observation: we obfuscate because to be seen, truly seen, is to risk everything. And yet, this remarkably assured collection leaves it all on the page with startling honesty for us - the reader - to see." --Steven Rowley, bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor

If I could give the characters in Peter Kispert's expansive, funny, and moving collection the forgiveness and recognition they seek, I would do so whole-heartedly. These unforgettable stories look head on at the spectacles we make of our lives and the impossibility of turning away from them. --Danielle Lazarin, author of Back Talk

Lashed by years and bound by love, the liars in this incredible debut punish themselves as their compulsions and betrayals tremble across time. Cut crosswise, their lives show these pathologies at work, just as hard and irradiating, superheated and sad, as the prose in which they're rendered. Above all, it is Kispert's immense talent that we come to understand, and even love, who they are. --Patrick Nathan, author of Some Hell

A darkly hilarious, astute collection that comes to us at the perfect time, where the truth and intimacy feel more elusive than ever. --John Paul Brammer, creator of the advice column ¡Hola Papi!

"A sharp collection of stories about the ways we deceive ourselves and others. Kispert absolutely nails the anxieties particular to contemporary queer life in a range of modes, from the melancholy to the hilarious. It has all the hallmarks of a modern classic." --Brandon Taylor, author of Real Life, in The Strategist

About the Author

Peter Kispert is the author of the story collection I Know You Know Who I Am (Penguin Books, 2020). His fiction and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in GQ, Esquire, Playboy, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, The Carolina Quarterly, The Journal, Slice, and elsewhere. He lives in New York.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books (1 January 1900)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0143134280
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0143134282
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.7 x 1.52 x 19.56 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 83 ratings

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Peter Kispert is the author of the debut story collection I Know You Know Who I Am (Penguin Books, 2020). His fiction and nonfiction has appeared in OUT Magazine, GQ, Salon, Esquire, Playboy, them, The Carolina Quarterly, and elsewhere.

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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
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Laurence R. Bachmann
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous fabulists
Reviewed in the United States on 11 May 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stories of Secrets & Lies
Reviewed in the United States on 21 June 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Collection
Reviewed in the United States on 1 March 2020
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A. M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly touching view of humanity
Reviewed in the United States on 14 March 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly touching view of humanity
Reviewed in the United States on 13 March 2021
I loved these stories and their wild honesty about lies, truth, love, and yearning. Each story looks at the human impulse to lie through a slightly different filter, and the result is a deeply unsettling, occasionally funny, and profoundly touching view of humanity. I’m still thinking about these stories.
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R. Patrick Baugh
1.0 out of 5 stars Don’t waste your time (or $$$)
Reviewed in the United States on 30 March 2020
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