Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls examines what it means to grow up curious and irrepressible in a culture of girl-killers. For the narrator of this debut novel, spectacular violence is the idiom of everyday life, a lurid extravaganza in which all those around her seem vicarious participants. And at its center are the interchangeable young girls, thrilling to know themselves the objects of so much desire and terror.
The narrative interweaves history, myth, rumor, and news with the experiences of a young girl living in the flatness of South Florida. Like Grace Paley's narrators, she is pensive and eager, hungry for experience but restrained. Into the sphere of her regard come a Ted Bundy reject, the God Osiris, a Caribbean slave turned pirate, a circus performer living in a box, broken horses, a Seminole chief in a swamp, and a murderous babysitter. What these preposterously commonplace figures all know is that murder is identity:
Of course what matters really is the psychokiller, what he's done, what he threatens to do. Of course to be the lucky one you have to be abducted in the first place. Without him, you wouldn't exist.
Everyday Psychokillers reaches to the edge of the psychoanalytical and jolts the reader back to daily life. The reader becomes the killer, the watcher, the person on the verge, hiding behind an everyday face.