News | 29 September 2016

A tale of two fetuses


In What Becomes Us, a new novel by UC Santa Cruz literature professor Micah Perks, twin fetuses tell the story of a pregnant woman who abandons her controlling husband in Santa Cruz, moves to a small upstate New York town, falls in love with a Chilean man, and becomes obsessed with a historical figure who wrote one of the first captivity narratives about survival in the wilderness.The longtime co-director of the UC Santa Cruz creative writing program explained how she came up with the idea of having twin fetuses narrate the story.
“I originally wanted a big storytelling voice, but I didn’t want the voice to be anonymous,” Perks recalled. “I liked the idea of this big, Whitmanesque voice coming from a tiny being inside the main character–a little like the position of the author.”

“I love twins, and I love all the utopian possibilities with twins,” she added. “And the ‘we’ voice now seems essential to what the book is about: the tension between individual desires and the desire for community.”

Read more