By Aminatta Forna,

Book cover of Happiness

Book description

'Forna's voice is relentlessly compelling, her ability to summon atmosphere extraordinary ... A thing of lasting beauty' OBSERVER SHORTLISTED FOR THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2019 SHORTLISTED FOR THE JHALAK PRIZE 2019 A breathtaking novel from Orange Prize-shortlisted and Commonwealth Writers' Prize-winning author Aminatta Forna Waterloo Bridge, London. Two strangers collide.…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Happiness as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I love books and movies that communicate the history and experience of humble people with empathy, respect, and interest, rather than preachiness.

This beautifully written novel reminded me of one of my favorite movies of all time, Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things. Forna brings to life a cast of characters that includes very sympathetic undocumented immigrants in present-day London, a taciturn US scientist trying to track and protect urban foxes, and the man she crosses on London’s Waterloo Bridge, a Ghanian psychiatrist named Attila—also featured in Forna’s other amazing novel The Memory of Love.

So glad the Georgetown Alumni book…

Happiness is a gentle, insightful, poetic depiction of the politics of nature in London, England—specifically, the treatment of urban foxes in the midst of human activity. The layers of life (children, adults, foxes, falcons, street cleaners, psychiatrists, immigrants, landowners) interact here in ways deeply moving and insightful, reminding me of the central question in much of my writing: the boundaries between our private, poetic perceptions and the politics of survival.

From James' list on poets and politics.

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