312pp., paperback, Reprint, London, (2018) 2019
Short-listed for the Ondaatje Prize and the Jhalak Prize.
A novel set in London. A friendship develops between Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes whose son has gone missing, and Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist in the city to deliver a keynote speech on trauma.
“Aminatta Forna expertly weaves her characters’ stories, past and present, in and out of the larger story of London, which becomes as rich a character as the human beings and, indeed, the foxes; and she makes us care deeply about them all, the foxes, the people and the city. A terrific novel.” Salman Rushdie, author of The Golden House
“In the richness of its urban portrait and the nuance of its narrative, Happiness makes clear that life is always complex and kindness not a cure-all. This is a book about humanity’s glorious, irreducible mess; a book filled with grief, largesse and joy. It is not about escapism, or about making us feel good; rather it’s about making us feel everything.” Sarah Crown, Times Literary Supplement
“Happiness is a meditation on grand themes: Love and death, man and nature, cruelty and mercy. But Forna folds this weighty matter into her buoyant creation with a sublimely delicate touch.” Anna Mundow Washington Post
Aminatta Forna was born in Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and Great Britain and spent periods of her childhood in Iran, Thailand and Zambia. She is the author of the novels Ancestor Stones, The Memory of Love, and The Hired Man, and the memoir The Devil That Danced on the Water. She has received a Windham Campbell Award from Yale University and won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book Award, a Hurston Wright Legacy Award, the Liberaturpreis in Germany and the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize. She is currently the Lannan Visiting Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. In 2017 she was awarded an OBE.