Everything Is an Emergency (Hardcover)

An OCD Story in Words & Pictures

By Jason Adam Katzenstein

Harper Perennial, 9780062950079, 256pp.

Publication Date: June 30, 2020

Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (6/30/2020)
Compact Disc (6/30/2020)

List Price: 19.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

“This book undid me in all the best ways. Everything is an Emergency is a brilliant, honest, necessary book that exposes the intricacies of the human brain while showing us the way creativity and friendship can anchor us. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered if they see the world a little differently.” –Ada Limón

New Yorker cartoonist illustrates his lifelong struggle with OCD in cartoon vignettes frank and funny

Jason Adam Katzenstein is just trying to live his life, but he keeps getting sidetracked by his over-active, anxious brain. Mundane events like shaking hands or sharing a drink snowball into absolute catastrophes. Jason has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a mental illness that compels him to perform rituals in order to protect himself from dangers that don’t really exist. He checks, washes, over-thinks, rinse, repeat. 

He does his best to hide his embarrassing compulsions, and sometimes this even works. He grows up, worries about his first kiss, falls in love with making cartoons, moves to New York City — which is magical and gross, etc. All the while, half his energy goes into living his life, while the other half is devoted to the increasingly ridiculous rituals he’s decided to maintain to keep himself from fully short-circuiting, 

Then, he fully short-circuits. 

At his absolute lowest, Jason finally decides to do the things he’s always been told to do to get better: exposure therapy and medication. These are the things that have always freaked him out, and they continue to freak him out. Also, they help him recover. 

Everything is an Emergency is a comic about all the self-destructive stories someone tells himself, over and over, until they start to seem true. In images surreal, witty, and confessional, Jason shows us that OCD can be funny, even when it feels like it’s ruining your life.



About the Author

JASON ADAM KATZENSTEIN is a cartoonist and writer for print and television. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times and MAD Magazine, and on Cartoon Network. He is the illustrator of The White Man's Guide to White Male Writers of the Western Canon and the graphic novel Camp Midnight. He is also a visiting professor at Wesleyan University. 


Praise For Everything Is an Emergency: An OCD Story in Words & Pictures

“This book undid me in all the best ways. Everything is an Emergency is a brilliant, honest, necessary book that exposes the intricacies of the human brain while showing us the way creativity and friendship can anchor us. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered if they see the world a little differently.”
— Ada Limón, poet and author of National Book Award finalist Bright Dead Things