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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 161

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is American author Karen Joy Fowler's (b. 1950) 2013 coming of age novel.

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The book's protagonist is Rosemary Cooke, a college student originally from Indiana attending the University of California at Davis. Her family include her father and mother, who both have a background in academia. Rosemary also a brother, Lowell, who figures prominently in the story. Early in the book, it's indicated that she has a distant relationship with her two parents, whose names are never given.

Rosemary's friends are also major characters; they include Reg, Harlow, and her roommate, Todd.

Uniquely, the book has a central character who is non-human. Fern is a chimpanzee raised by the Cooke family. Lowell's attempt to rescue Fern from a laboratory in California, and his later pursuit by the FBI, becomes the major conflict faced by Rosemary in the story.

Other characters in We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves include Dae-jung, Dr. Sosa, policeman Arnie Haddick, and Kimmy Uchida.

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