There Is Happiness: New and Selected Stories (Kobo eBook)

There Is Happiness: New and Selected Stories By Brad Watson, Joy Williams Cover Image
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A posthumous collection of beloved and never-before-read stories from a titan of contemporary Southern fiction.

“Here is a generous portion of the work of a swiftly passing lifetime. Bountiful is the deserving page,” Joy Williams writes in her introduction to this astonishing selection of Brad Watson’s published and unpublished stories: “excellent, assured, funny, startling, heartbreaking, wild,“ full of “freakish flair” and “melancholy realism”—stories that give us a “glimpse” of ourselves “so surprising, so varied yet unequivocal, so ruthlessly complete, that it does awaken us in some manner, if not protect or prepare us.”

Brad Watson was a master of dark comedy, extraordinary lyricism, appalling grotesquerie, and unabashed vulnerability; a sublime prose stylist whose novels and stories drew upon the fecundity and moodiness of the South. Male meltdown, carrying with it the possibility of being saved by Dolly Parton or some other woman or maybe by animal friends, is a theme, as is young love and its disillusionment, as are strange neighbors who cannot be understood. A leopard that consumes its zookeeper, pronghorn antelope tenderly transporting the poop of their young, insufferably articulate birds and restless, tolerant dogs—this is also eco-fiction of a very peculiar sort, in which nature reassures, transcends, and finally escapes judging or being judged by us.

Roller-coastering from the mournful to the comical (sometimes in the same paragraph), Watson’s work is both embedded in a literary heritage tied to place and at home in a universal literature of the absurd. His stories waltz with lovely and strange melancholy, infused with wit and astonishing beauty. There Is Happiness embodies the twisted hilarity and undeniable grace of an underrecognized literary genius.

Product Details
ISBN-13: 9781324076438
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: July 15th, 2024