Miranda Pountney How to be Somebody Else

Miranda was born in 1980 in North London. She holds a degree in English Literature from Oxford University and has spent fifteen years working in advertising agencies in London and New York. She graduated from the Bath Spa Creative Writing MA with distinction and How to Be Somebody Else is her first novel.


Fran left her native London for New York the week she turned thirty—ready to become on a grand scale. Eight years later, she’s starting to wonder what becoming looks like, and whether it might have happened without her. When she walks away from a successful career in advertising to answer her vague calling to write, she begins to ask questions like: where does story come from and how do we shape our own? How much of who we are is context? What is personality (and does she have one)? What is fixed? Is she? Over the course of one disruptive New York spring, she tries on somebody else’s home, somebody else’s lover, tests friendships, loyalties and the boundaries of herself, looking for answers. This extract is from the novel’s opening.