What Becomes Us (Outpost 19)
In What Becomes Us, the new novel by Micah Perks, twin fetuses tell the story of their mild-mannered mother who abandons her controlling husband to start fresh in a small town in upstate New York. But her seemingly ideal neighbors are violently divided by the history Evie is teaching at the high school—the captivity and restoration of colonist Mary Rowlandson, a watershed conflict that leads our little narrators to ask big questions about love, survival, coveting the man next door and what exactly is a healthy appetite.
Praise for What Becomes Us
"Micah Perks' book has everything a reader could hope for -- her language is lively, her characters appealing. Set in a storied landscape, with themes of independence and community. Romance! History! Food! Plus a tale to tell and some surprising people to tell it. There is real magic here. Micah magic! Completely original, completely delightful."- Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
“Micah Perks is one of the most radiantly original writers around. What Becomes Us, exhilarating and terrifying, is a novel I love for its wild beauty, its offbeat inventiveness, it’s effervescent language, and the artfulness with which it has been shaped. This is a brilliant novel.”- Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen
"No matter where we come from, we all get born again American. Micah Perks is our literary doula working beside the midwives who haunt our American beginnings: Mary Rowlandson, Queen Weetamoo, and civil disobedient missionary Ma -- rebirthing us even as we are fetal captives in generational cycles of puritanical pioneering and savagery. We emerge with insatiable hunger, innocent and corruptible, and Micah Perks, with gentle wit and deft storytelling, coaxes us to love and song."- Karen Tei Yamashita, author of I Hotel
“Micah Perk's wonderful and surprising new novel proves that the life of a small-town schoolteacher can be by turns comic, dramatic, joyful, and violent. For one thing, its wise and observant narrators are unborn twins.”- Alison Lurie, author of Foreign Affairs and The Language of Houses
"I've been obsessed with Mary Rowlandson for 20 years, and was delighted to find that Micah Perks writes about her with fireworks. This is a warm, wild, hilarious, eccentric and moving book." - Lauren Groff
Micah Perks is the author of a novel, We Are Gathered Here, a memoir, Pagan Time, and a long personal essay, Alone In The Woods: Cheryl Strayed, My Daughter and Me. Her short stories and essays have won five Pushcart Prize nominations and appeared in Epoch, Zyzzyva, Tin House, The Toast, OZY and The Rumpus, amongst many journals and anthologies. Excerpts of What Becomes Us won a National Endowment for The Arts grant and The New Guard Machigonne 2014 Fiction Prize. She received her BA and MFA from Cornell University and now lives with her family in Santa Cruz where she co-directs the creative writing program at UCSC.
Michelle Tea is the author of twelve books, most recently the dystopic half-memoir Black Wave. She curates the Amethyst Editions series for Feminist Press. Her writing has appeared in Harpers, Cosmopolitan, The Believer, Marie Claire and other discordant publications.