A man adopts a pile of dirt as a pet. Bandmates moonlighting as assassins are haunted by a particularly vague highway sign. A woman discovers a tree growing out of a box in the back of her closet. Over the course of twenty-three stories, Timothy Day’s DISCOUNT CEREMONY explores friendship, arrested development, loneliness, and compromised dreams, played out against a series of surreal backdrops by turns comically absurd and strikingly bleak. Adrift but uncynical, the characters populating each story strive for silver linings amidst distinctly disorienting circumstances, portraying the uncertainties and hopes of the human condition as reflected by a funhouse mirror.
“The characters in Day’s stories clamor for connection despite living in a world devoid of honest optimism. I’ve never identified with a book more.”
—Katy Michelle Quinn, author of Girl in the Walls
“Timothy Day is a silly, somber wonder of a writer who breaks out his defibrillator just as he’s breaking your heart. Have you ever caught yourself petting a cute clump of dirt, prepping for date night by donning a hazmat suit, or simply wishing to be seen as the ghost you are? Scary and warm, desolate and sweet, the stories in DISCOUNT CEREMONY are hellscapes you’ll be happy to inhabit, lonely lands in which you’ll finally feel less alone.” —Madeline McDonnell, author of Lonesome Ballroom
“DISCOUNT CEREMONY is so perfectly strange and oddly accessible that I can imagine it influencing short-story writers for years to come, its title becoming shorthand for not just a style of writing but a particular way of viewing the world. Part Miranda July, part Brian Evenson, and part Haruki Murakami, Timothy Day’s stories consistently surprise and delight, each becoming something more than their surface suggests.” —Joshua James Amberson, author of Staring Contest: Essays About Eyes and How to Forget Almost Everything
Timothy Day is a writer, photographer, improv enthusiast and aspiring filmmaker living in Portland, Oregon. His fiction has appeared in Booth, The Adroit Journal, Barren Magazine, and elsewhere.