Rebecca Ivory Free Therapy


Code 9781787334694
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A collection that shows us ourselves as we truly are


'A major new talent' i
'So precise and articulate' Sunday Times

Two teenage girls fixated on each other's bodies enter into a destructive competition; a woman's encounter with her ex forces her to reflect on the women's group that saved her; a couple's future is called into question after the damp expert they hire for their bathroom offers them free counselling; an older man's buried grief emerges during an altercation with a mother driving a 4x4; and over the course of a bitter winter a waitress lacks the money to fix an impacted tooth as the cracks begin to show in her precariously balanced life.

Free Therapy takes us into the inner lives of women and men who are versed in the language of therapy, possessed with the self-knowledge needed to change their lives, but finding themselves unwilling to doing so. As her characters try and fail to connect - via sex, friendship, screens and work - Rebecca Ivory explores desire in all its forms, revealing the ways in which we posture and present, and the softness and insecurities that lie beneath.

Perfectly observed, wry and illuminated by moments of sympathy and wisdom, Free Therapy shows us ourselves as we truly are.

'Arresting and inventive' Sally Rooney
'Her writing feels so fresh' Pandora Skyes

About the Author

Rebecca Ivory was born in 1993 and is a writer based in Dublin. Her short fiction has appeared in the Stinging Fly, Banshee, Tangerine and Fallow Media. In 2020, she was awarded a Literature Bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland. Free Therapy is her debut.

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'A major new talent'
- i

'A blooming literary talent... Ivory is the real deal'
- Irish Times

'Wincingly funny and winningly honest'
- Daily Mail

'Ivory performs many small, delicious reveals and rug-pulls in this study of modern relationships... A fine display of her talents'
- Observer

'In her debut short-story collection, Rebecca Ivory has taken all the tiny humiliations of life and made something so precise and articulate that it can feel mortifying to read... A short story collection that feels apt'
- Sunday Times

'Arresting and inventive'
- Sally Rooney, author of Normal People

'I ate it up in two sittings. Beneath these stories runs a pulsing darkness, a restless humour, a palpable and astute distrust. Here are all the ways we scam each other, but most of all ourselves'
- Saba Sams, author of Send Nudes

'Her writing feels so fresh... What these stories evoke the most is a feeling of life not looking like you thought it would; of restlessness and ennui, shot through with moments of piercing revelation that made me put the book down and think, 'isn't that a thing' several times'
- Pandora Sykes, author of How Do We Know We're Doing It Right?

'The stories in Free Therapy are unerring, ferociously original, cooly controlled and queasy with revelation. They live viscerally in you for days afterward'
- Colin Barrett, author of Homesickness

'Sharp, astute and painfully funny, Rebecca Ivory has written a powerful collection of stories. I genuinely couldn't get enough'
- Michael Magee, author of Close to Home


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