This Isn’t Who We Are

This Isn't Who We Are On the last page of This Isn’t Who We Are, a drug dealer tells a woman who’s just induced an abortion with a curtain rod that she needs help. The same can be said of all the characters who populate this collection of very short fiction (and, arguably, for its author, Barry Graham, but I don’t know him well enough to say for sure). Throughout, tragedy unfolds in every dark corner of the American landscape: members of a professional video game team competing in the women-over-thirty division dream of becoming Mortal Kombat champions, a little girl puts a sweater on a dead cat, a fatherless sadist tortures a kidnap victim in his basement. The list goes on and on, each image incrementally more disturbing than the last. With any luck, the book’s tile is correct, and this really isn’t who we are.

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