Cheap Therapist Says You’re Insane is a debut collection of stories that announces a startling new talent in American storytelling. Parker Young’s short stories and flash fictions combine humor, anxiety, and pathos as they walk a razor’s edge between the absurd and compelling human stakes. Young’s total command of voice and style makes for stories sure to linger in the haunted air of your subconscious.
“As did Russell Edson, Parker Young beholds the universe’s catastrophizing with admiration. Like tiny inky quilts, his prose-devisings are tinkerings in, with, and about the border between intricacy & error.”–Jesse Ball, author of Autoportrait
“This collection inhabits a comic uncanny that offers kindness and anarchy both: a Donald Barthelme pose made new in this modern moment. Each piece tumbles toward its perfect end—sometimes slapstick, sometimes tragic, sometimes motionless, but often all three. In this book’s feints of metafiction, and in its fundamental sincerity, there is proof that writing is an existential act.” –Amanda Goldblatt, author of Hard Mouth
“These brief and impressionistic stories capture the strange, inchoate logic of dreams better than any collection I’ve read. They are ripe with a vague foreboding, confident yet dissociative leaps in time and place, inarticulate obsessions, quiet and bizarre quandaries. A fresh spin on continental neuroticism.”–Zac Smith, author of Everything Is Totally Fine
“I do not know Parker Young. He is not my friend. We follow each other on at least one social media platform, but in a crowd I wouldn’t be positive if I was looking at him or a man named John “Julie” Patton. These words I am typing are a favor to no one. I say all that to tell you, this person, Parker Young, who is not my friend, but may one day become my friend, has written a collection of stories that I love. This collection is among my very favorites I’ve read in years. Funny, seeing, hopeful, doomed; this collection is populated with people you know and that you will hope to never meet. This is beautiful writing with the light shining out.”–Alex Higley, author of Old Open
“A book like a collection of tiny thunderstorms, or a box of bouncing balls and spinning tops.”–Ben Loory, author of Tales of Falling and Flying
Parker Young lives in Chicago. His stories have appeared in No Contact, X-R-A-Y, HAD, Always Crashing, Bluestem, Juked, and elsewhere.
184 pages, paperback
Cover art by Minami Kobayashi (In the Bath Tub, 2022)
Cover design by Emma Alden
Book layout by Michael Kazepis
Released on May 24th, 2023.
Read Parker’s story, May 24, on X-R-A-Y Magazine.
Available through Ingram, Small Press Distribution, and Antiquated Future.