Creative Writing at The New School

Hysteria

Hysteria by Jessica Gross, graduate '18, Creative Writing at The New School

Unnamed Press, 2020

From the publisher:

In Hysteria, we meet a young woman an hour into yet another alcohol-fueled, masochistic, sexual bender at her local bar.

There is a new bartender working this time, one she hasn't seen before, and who can properly make a drink. He looks familiar, and as she is consumed by shame from her behavior the previous week — hooking up with her parents' colleague and her roommate's brother — she also becomes convinced that her Brooklyn bartender is actually Sigmund Freud. They embark on a relationship, and she is forced to confront her past through the prism of their complex, revealing, and sometimes shocking meetings.

With the help of Freud — or whoever he is — she begins to untangle her Oedipal leanings, her upbringing, and her desires. Jessica Gross's debut is unflinchingly perceptive and honest, darkly funny, and unafraid of mining the deepest fears of contemporary lives.