Literati is thrilled to welcome Zell Writers’ Program Alum Rebecca Scherm as she launches her debut novel, Unbecoming.
“From the first page, you know Rebecca Scherm is the real thing. Unbecoming is an assured exploration of the intricate, intense, risky processes that go into creating identity—and into dismantling it.”
“Rebecca Scherm’s extraordinarily confident voice and style, this novel’s depth of detail—great characters and a terrifically engaging plot—are a sheer delight to read. There is something very fresh and captivating about this book, and best of all I had no idea what was going to happen from one page to the next.”
In a grubby antiques shop on the outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she’s from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. From an anonymous internet café, she checks the website of her hometown paper. Back in Garland, Tennessee, two young men are about to be paroled. Both have served time for a crime about which Grace knows a great deal. Their daring escapade went bad, but not before Grace made it onto a plane — contraband in her carry-on — and began methodically disassembling the known facts of her life. Now she knows that somehow, a piece of her past will find her. As the story unfolds, taking us from small-town USA to the heights and depths of the art scene in New York and Europe, we learn who Grace has been: a girl with a messy, broken home life and a knack for making herself loveable– until she comes face to face with what she actually wants, and everything falls apart. And so begins a cat-and-mouse waiting game, a tale of lies and deception, desperate stakes and dual identities.
Mesmerizing, atmospheric, and psychologically nuanced, Unbecoming reinvents the heist plot and takes up the making of a femme fatale—this time, from a woman’s point of view.
Rebecca Scherm is the author of Unbecoming, a novel. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she was also a postgraduate Zell Fellow. She lives in Michigan, where she is working on her second novel, Beta.