Wesley Yorstead Goes Outside


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Publisher’s Synopsis

When an agoraphobic man develops a relationship with a vivacious grocery delivery woman, the order he prescribes to his apartment, and his world, begins to crumble around him. Wesley Yorstead Goes Outside explores the life of Wesley Yorstead, a thirty-three year old graphic novelist who suffers from a severe case of agoraphobia that has kept him shut inside for over five years. When he meets Happy Lafferty for the first time, delivering groceries on behalf of her father’s neighborhood market, Wesley can’t shake the inherent magnetism between them and seeks to get to know this young woman who invades his space—both physical and mental. As their relationship grows more intimate, the restrictions of his situation become an even greater obstacle. When Happy’s past comes back to haunt her, Wesley must decide if he can finally leave his apartment to help. A meditation on anxiety, fear, and human connection, Wesley Yorstead Goes Outside asks the reader to consider what our fears take away from our lives, and how we might overcome them.

Awards for Wesley Yorstead Goes Outside


General Fiction

Colorado Book Awards


Literary Fiction | Contemporary Fiction | General Fiction

Speak Up Talk Radio Network’s Firebird Book Awards

Listen to a 15 min interview between Stephanie and Speak Up Talk Radio

Praise for Wesley Yorstead Goes Outside

“Stephanie Harper’s debut novel is that rare thing — a true original. Part love story, part adventure, part meditation on the intersection of mental illness and art, WESLEY YORSTEAD GOES OUTSIDE is the deeply moving, darkly comic story of a lonely young man who hasn’t left his apartment in five years. When Wesley ultimately decides that there is just one thing on earth more important than his safety, we all rush through the opening door.”

— Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean and My Only

“Succinct, artful, and full of heart; there’s never been a character like Wesley Yorstead.”

— Alena Dillon, author of Mercy House and The Happiest Girl in the World

“Wesley Yorstead Goes Outside is a gem of a novel in which — to paraphrase its terrifically talented, deeply anxious main character — everything we need is inside. With her whip smart prose, Stephanie Harper has created a sharply comic, deeply resonant story, chock full of the idiosyncratic, treacherous and exquisite aspects of real life. The novel champions the high-wire act that is our attempt to make sense of our place in the world and our relationships to one another.”

— Rachel Basch, author of The Listener

“WESLEY YORSTEAD GOES OUTSIDE is a fascinating portrait of a character whose struggle is made palpable by Harper’s precise, lucid prose. With levity, candor, and a sense of adventure, Harper’s compelling debut explores a young man’s relationship to his fears, and his ability to overcome them.”

— Emily Adrian, Author of Everything Here Is Under Control

“Stephanie Harper has written a daring novel – energetic and full of suspense – about a man who can’t walk out his own front door. Wesley Yorstead has spent years inside his small apartment, but nothing about this novel feels confined. It is a triumph of deeply-nuanced character, a vital reminder of the power of art, and a moving exploration of the ways people surpass their own limitations: through courage, connection, and love.”

— Nalini Jones, author of What You Call Winter

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