Throughout this debut collection, we meet characters who have lied, who have sometimes created elaborate falsehoods, and who now must cope with the way that those deceptions eat at the very fabric of their lives and relationships.
I Know You Know Who I Am, by Peter Kispert, belongs in the school of Oscar Wilde and Tennessee Williams in the way that it deftly and sympathetically exposes the role deceit plays in the lives of queer people, even in the age of Marriage Equality ... Some of the stories are darker, more jarring and more original [than others] ... Kispert certainly deserves the praise others have given him. Kispert’s style is consistently eloquent yet accessible. The stories are original, and the commentary on deceit in its various manifestations lends most of the stories pathos and power. That said, not all the stories pack the same punch. Several of the stories, including most of the flash fiction pieces, were anticlimactic ... But even these milder stories manage to compel with language, if not plot.
These stories have emotional consequence, but they also playfully subvert expectations. Their protagonists are mostly gay and mostly out, that is they’re queer and in the world, navigating degrees of outness as they search for themselves. Kispert’s short fiction is a performative lie that reveals truth to readers in subtle, surprising ways that literary fiction lovers will devour ... Kispert’s stories dig deep, and they’re far from forgettable.
Kispert wrestles with grand themes, but he’s equally adept at memorable miniatures ... It’s all in keeping with Kispert's attention to the border between fiction and reality. While his depictions of contemporary life are wholly immersive, he also displays a talent for the speculative ... Kispert blends sharp characterization with intriguing premises throughout this memorable collection.