cover image Agorafabulous! 
Dispatches from My Bedroom

Agorafabulous! Dispatches from My Bedroom

Sara Benincasa. Morrow, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-202441-1

The lowest point for award-winning comedian and recovering agoraphobe Benincasa in her funny and unflinchingly honest account of her lifelong battle with panic attacks comes in college when she’s too terrified to use her bathroom and is left to urinate in Le Creuset bowls. She starts having attacks in early childhood and by 16 is on a diet of antidepressant and antianxiety medications to deal with a long list of fears including driving and being a passenger, wet hair, and riding the subway and bus. When she gets to Emerson College, everything completely unravels. Rescued by her very understanding parents, she recuperates at home in New Jersey, seeing a psychiatrist and getting on the right drugs like Prozac and Xanax. The healing comes slowly, with baby steps like graduating from smoothies to solid food and being able to drive alone with the help of an inspirational mix tape. After surviving her first big test—moving 11 hours away to school in Asheville, N.C.—with only one small crackup, she decides she is ready to handle New York City, where “most people are even crazier than I am.” Using humor to help her overcome the anxieties that once dominated her life, Benincasa discovers her gift for comedy and storytelling, and finds tranquility. Agent: Scott Mendel. (Feb.)