Amnesiac, dysmorphic, and otherwise duplicitous character conditions broach an embodied philosophy of “inessentialism,” embracing the self as something that is written. Golub’s cancer narrates some of its origin story, even as it practices decreation, “de-selfing” that usurps and subverts the subject’s role in his own neurotic narrative. Hallucinated, mainly Jewish lives and counter-lives append to the struggle between the physical body and its metaphoric embodiments. (Roth’s) “Anne Frank” returns as her own fictional character and as a testimony not to survivor guilt but to survivor fear. The cowbird arrives to give a name to a species of subject that curates some other species’ eggs (history, origins). Cowbirdman enters the ranks of self-canceling superheroes who will recur in the book’s narrative as the author’s alternative selves.