Happy Or Otherwise: Stories
The people in Diana Joseph's Happy or Otherwise are looking for ways to live through hurt, some of it passed on like a family heirloom, some of it self-inflicted. Tabbitha, the adult daughter in "Bloodlines," recounts her brother's death and her grieving father's violent response to it. Her memory is compassionate, but unflinched as she reflects on how, even twenty years later, "you don't forget." In "Windows and Words," Leslie, a college senior, falls for a guy who "used philosophy as a form of foreplay." In turn, she decides, "Acting on desire is just another way to procrastinate." The book also explores how people define themselves through the stories they tell: the title character of "Schandorsky's Mother" is writing a poem that "chronicles her relationship" with the father her son has never known. "So someday you'll understand," she tells the puzzled boy. In "Approximate to Salvation," a daughter's claim that a stranger raped her covers up a painful truth: her father's attempt to seduce her. The tales concocted by the narrator of "Naming Stories" reveal her intense longing for a sense of self: "Sometimes, I told this story," she says, "I was conceived at Woodstock, in the rain, the music, the mud, on the night of a full moon." Another character, Sookey, in "Expatriates," believes "confessing would feel like love." With prose that is sharp, lyrical, and image-driven, Happy or Otherwise is a fierce book with a lot of funny parts.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
arms asked baby bathroom beauty shop bedroom blackberries blue Bobby Border Collie boyfriend brother called Cappabianco Carly Carnegie Mellon University Casey cheek cigarette color cough crew cut Daddy damn Dana daughter deep purple Doddridge County dollars door doughnut eyes face father says feel fingers front gave girl glass Habernot hair hand happened Harley Charlie head hear hurt husband kiss kitchen knew legs Leslie lips look lover married morning mother says mouth neck never night nose old ladies Paul Edward Pittsburgh Pirates pregnant pretty pulled Reggie Reva rubber band says Schandorsky shirt shoulder sitting smile smoke Sookey stick supper Swisher Sweet talking Taylor television tell There's things thought told truck Valentine Valentine's watch wearing whore of Babylon Wilmington window woman