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About The Book

From the author of Confidence and The Comedown comes a wildly imaginative story collection about queerness, neurodivergence, sexuality, and self-discovery.

Frumkin’s latest book is a deliciously entertaining collection of five genre-defying stories that range from downright hilarious to brilliantly unhinged. Taken together, they celebrate a wide variety of human experiences.

In the title story, a queer young adult with bipolar disorder drops out of college in a fog of depression, aimlessly drifting between maintaining their job at a fast food restaurant and dodging their mom’s texts. But when they fall in with a group of sex workers starring in BDSM films, they find radical freedom, love, and community. In other stories, we meet a psychiatrist whose meticulously-maintained life is upended by an Alex Trebek-like voice in his head, an e-girl celebrity who is being courted by a delusional fan, a young boy on the spectrum at odds with a neurotypical world determined to “cure” him, and an elderly woman whose consciousness is being transformed by her oncoming death.

With incredible insight, compassion, and honesty, Frumkin unravels each story with tantalizing precision. Sexy and raw—and compulsively readable—this collection offers a look at our innermost selves as we all try to make sense of the world and our place in it.

About The Author

Photograph © Rafael Frumkin

Rafael Frumkin is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Medill School of Journalism. His first novel, The Comedown, was published by Henry Holt in 2018, and his second novel, Confidence, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2023. He lives with his partner, two cats, and one dog in Carbondale, Illinois, where he is an assistant professor of creative writing at Southern Illinois University.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 13, 2024)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982189778

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Raves and Reviews

A Nylon and Electric Literature Most Anticipated Book of 2024

“In his gutsy collection, Frumkin presents characters in untraditional situations who are threatened by internal and external forces as they strive to stake out a joyful place in the world. Frumkin renders focal points like crisis and desire with compelling fluidity: His characters navigate the complexities of self-discovery against the constantly shifting background of psychological slippage and the pressures of making a life worth living…. But the collection’s greatest strength is its way of unpacking its characters’ stuck moments and impasses through vivid gasps of insight, moments when we come into contact with the abundance of their inner life. For each of them, the obscure whole of their identity is beyond easy summarization — but as they grope their way through crises both existential and mundane, every moment feels bracingly true.”—Alexandra Kleeman, New York Times

"E-girls, sex workers, and college dropouts with BPD are the subjects of Rafael Frumkin’s five short, hilarous and debaucherous stories about queer young people."—Nylon

“Frumkin excels at getting into the distinct and sometimes dissociated mindset of his characters. It’s an impressive depiction of life on the margins.”Publishers Weekly

“All five stories are eminently readable, extremely well written, with fully realized, memorable characters, and sure to interest fans of the artfully unusual.” –Booklist

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