In the 2004 movie I Heart Huckabees, Jude Law’s character is asked, “Are you being yourself?, to which he responds, “How am I not myself?”. This becomes a penetrating focus phrase that he can’t get out of his head, and leads to the question: can you not be yourself? According to my recent reads, YES! Here are three identity-defying books where the main characters are essentially not themselves. Are the characters crazy? Not quite, but they are part of some crazy-good books though!
In one story, the main character wakes up in a different body every day. That means this person is essentially nameless, genderless, possession less, friendless… all while simultaneously taking on every aspect of the bodies he/she inhabits. Another story revolves around a world where two souls live in one body. In a third, our heroine is entirely herself… until she chases her father’s killer through various universes, becoming a different version of herself in each world.
Each of these books provide satisfying stories of action, adventure, and romance while also exploring the essential essence of self. The reader really gets to feel what it’s like to be someone else while experiencing the different selves of ‘A’ in Every Day. In What’s Left of Me, one of the twin souls falls in love. What would you do? Could you ever be “yourself”? Marguerite too falls in love in A Thousand Pieces of You, but is it legit? As the multi-verse Marguerite, she is herself, but also not herself. Would the Marguerite she’s inhabiting act the same way?
Dig into these creative questions by checking out these three books. While watching these characters struggle through the ultimate identity crisis, ask yourself: How am I not myself?