an imprint of counterpoint

My Happy Life

My Happy Life

A Novel

Lydia Millet

At the opening of My Happy Life, the unnamed narrator of this bittersweet fictional memoir has been abandoned in a locked room of a defunct hospital for the mentally ill. She hasn’t seen the nice man who brings her food in days; she’s eaten the soap and the toothpaste; she tried to eat the plaster on her walls, a dietary adventure that ended none too well.This woman’s story, covering decades and spanning continents, is utterly tragic. And yet, curiously, the narrator is happy. Despite a lifetime of neglect, physical abuse, and loss, she’s incapable of perceiving slight or injury. She has infinite faith in the goodwill of others, loves even her enemies, and finds grace and communion in places most people wouldn’t dare to look. By stepping outside her meager circumstances, she’s able to live each moment as though it were her last-with gratitude, longing, and delight.

With the utterly original and compelling narrative voice Millet has fashioned, this is a novel that hypnotizes the reader, that startles and keeps us reading and imbues us with the rich interior life of this woman.

Lydia Millet was born in Boston in 1968; moved to Toronto, Canada with her Egyptologist father and teacher/librarian mother two years later. Lived in Los Angeles (91-94), where she worked as a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications (of Hustler for 2 years; also Busty Beauties, S.W.A.T. (a gun magazine) and Fighting Knives: America’s Most Incisive Cutlery Publication. Got a Master’s in environmental policy at Duke University. Moved to New York in 1996, where she worked as a fundraiser for the Natural Resources Defense Council; then went freelance and moved to Tucson, where she now lives and writes full-time on an isolated spread in the desert.
Paper | 5″ x 8″ | 160 pgs. | ISBN: 1-933368-76-4 | List: $13.00 | 04/1/2007

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