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“Honest and deeply felt, Stern’s story delivers a raw window into the terrifying world of panic disorders.” Publishers’ Weekly * Starred Review
“Stern has succeeded in writing an often-funny tale about mental illness….A good reminder that all people, including those who “learn differently,” need empathy and human connection.“– Booklist
“a creative feat and existential service of the highest caliber.” – Brain Pickings (Best Books of 2018)
* Barnes and Noble Discover New Voices Summer 2018 Pick*
The ordinary world never made sense to Amanda— how can she trust time will keep flowing, the sun will rise, and her mother won’t vanish into thin air? Shuttled between divorced parents, from a barefoot bohemian existence in Greenwich Village to a sanitized, stricter world uptown, this smart, sensitive little girl experiences life through the distorting lens of an undiagnosed panic disorder— convinced her worries protect her family from danger. When, one morning in 1979, Etan Patz disappears near her MacDougal Street home, Amanda knows that all her worst fears are about to come true. Candid, tender, funny, and gorgeously immersive, LITTLE PANIC is at once a love letter to 1970s- and ’80s-era New York City and a brilliant window into
“In this canny, insightful, novelistic memoir,
Amanda Stern traces the indelible path her underlying anxiety has traced in a rich but often frustrated life. She achieves a symphony of complex fragilities and redeeming strengths.”
―ANDREW SOLOMON, National Book Award-winning author of Far From the Tree
“With courage and a keen sense of humor, Little Panic delves beneath the surface of the terms, tests, and judgements we apply to our mental existence in order to recover the experiential richness buried beneath. Readers will recognize themselves in Stern’s psychological coming-of-age, keenly empathetic and vibrantly felt.”―ALEXANDRA KLEEMAN, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine
“Brave, in the truest sense of the word, Amanda Stern’s Little Panic is a document of survival of the fittest. This is the book for anyone-who has dropped a beat, a week or a year, feeling afraid not just of the dark, but of life, of being left alone in this world. A haunting story of the impact of time and place-the backdrop of Etan Patz’s vanishing, New York in the 1970s-split between parents and worlds, struggling to find a place of her own. Little Panic is a stunning reminder of what it is to be human.”―A. M. HOMES, bestselling author of The Mistress’s Daughter and Days of Awe
“LITTLE PANIC is an intimate and sweeping story of hypervigilance. Cheeky and vivid and transporting, it’s also extremely funny. Stern’s book conveys just how isolating mental illness really is. I spend my life hoping to find books like this.”
― SARAH MANGUSO, author of 300 Arguments: Essays
Amanda Stern is the author of The Long Haul and eleven books for children written under pseudonyms. In 2003, she founded the legendary Happy Ending Music and Reading Series, which required creative artists to take risks onstage. The multi-disciplinary series became the gold standard for literary events; many of today’s series are (knowingly and unknowingly) based on Happy Ending’s model. It was produced at Joe’s Pub and later at Symphony Space. The series ended in 2018. Her most recent book is LITTLE PANIC, a memoir about growing up with an undiagnosed panic disorder in Etan Patz era Greenwich Village is out now from Grand Central Publishing. Amanda is a mental health advocate, speaker, and advisory board member for Bring Change to Mind. As a writer, she’s required to live in Brooklyn, which she does, with her daughter Busy, who also happens to be a dog.
Photo by: Jon Pack