Praise for Paranoia...
“From the first, calmly devastating story, “Paranoia” by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, in which the life of an undocumented teenage immigrant unravels against a backdrop of bristling flags and looming war, the book steadily crystallises a vision of the US as a locus of callous narcissism, exclusionary greed and militaristic aggression.”
[T]he bulk of the writers included here — names like Charles Yu, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Rebecca Lee and Tao Lin, to single out just a few — are presented as the next wave, superstars-in-waiting.
“I’m very enamored by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh. It’s the first one [in the book], because there are a lot of ways I can’t get my head around the story. I think there’s a certain kind of story I like that eludes understanding to just a tiny degree — not completely baffling, not so mysterious as to be frustrating — but there are just shades of ambiguity that I find so gripping.”
—Ben Marcus, Kirkus
“[T]hat first story, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh’s “Paranoia”—that’s a very American story, or, rather, that’s a story about America: nationalism, capitalism, racism, militarism, football, a Fourth of July scene? Oh, and, paranoia.”
“Did I look at the content of [Sayrafiezadeh’s] story and hope it would trigger thoughts about American identity? — definitely, definitely not. Frankly, there were four of his stories that I was trying to choose from. I’m really enamored by his work. I knew that I wanted his work — I just didn’t know which story. But I didn’t consciously choose it because it dealt with American things.”
—Ben Marcus, The Flavorwire
“And then there is Paranoia, a brilliant story by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh… Dean, the first-person narrator of Paranoia, is plagued not only with paranoia but with also its twin: confusion… The story manages to be funny and chilling and, somehow, a spot-on characterization of an entirely empty character.”