I'm Perfect, You're Doomed

Tales from a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing

I'm Perfect, You're Doomed

Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, Kyria Abrahams’s childhood was haunted by the knowledge that her neighbors and schoolmates were doomed to die in an imminent fiery catastrophe; that Smurfs were evil; that just about anything you could buy at a yard sale was infested by demons; and that Ouija boards—even if they were manufactured by Parker Brothers—were portals to hell. .

When Kyria turned eighteen, she found herself married to a man she didn’t love, with adultery her only way out. “Disfellowshipped” and exiled from the only world she’d ever known, Kyria realized that the only people who could save her were the very sinners she had prayed would be smitten by God’s wrath. Written with scorching wit and deep compassion, I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed manages to be hilarious about the ironic absurdity of growing up believing that nothing matters because everything’s about to be destroyed..
  • Touchstone | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416556862 | 
  • December 2010
List Price $21.99 (price may vary by retailer)
In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day
Buy from another retailer


Reading Group Guide

I'm Perfect, You're Doomed
Kyria Abrahams

Questions and Topics For Discussion

  1. The book begins with a Frederick Perls quote: "Many factors come together to create this specific unique person which is I." Now that you have an understanding of Kyria as a child, can you identify some of the Jehovah's Witness factors that contributed to who she was? Examine her views on finishing high school, getting married, and having a job. What other external factors contributed to her personal development?
  2. What prescriptions do Jehovah's Witnesses give for proper parenting (see page 104)?  Do you agree with the methods described?
  3. Kyria describes her elementary school experience: "Unlike all the other students in the school, I was special. In short, the rest of my class was going to die at Armageddon. I was going to live forever—as long as I refrained from singing the National Anthem or drawing a turkey from the outline of my hand" (page 84).  How do the rules of Jehovah's Witnesses compare with the rules of other religions? Which religions are stricter than others in regard to what must be done to achieve eternal life?
  4. Abrahams humorously says of her early experiences in the Kingdom Hall, "We all knew what was in our thoughts (intense love for Jehovah possibly coupled with a need to pee) and there was no need to cause problems by talking about actual feelings" (page 34).  Does this description rela
see more

About the Author

Kyria Abrahams
Photo Credit: Todd Serencha

Kyria Abrahams

Kyria Abrahams was a regular columnist for Jest Magazine for several years, where she was featured alongside performers and writers from The Daily Show and Chappelle’s Show. As a standup comic, Comedy Central twice selected her as one of ten semi-finalists for the Boston Laugh Riots Competition. She has also been a repeat performer at alternative comedy shows like "Eating It" and "Invite them Up," as well as literary readings like "How to Kick People"--each of them places where the likes of Jon Stewart, Janeane Garafalo, Patton Oswalt, Fred Armisen, and David Cross have appeared.  Raised in Providence, Rhode Island she now lives in Queens, New York.