This Close to Happy & Much More


Says Daphne Merkin (This Close to Happy): “I wanted to write a readable, hopefully not too depressing book about depression, and in that way make it a seductive book in spite of the subject. That was my hope. I think of writing as yet another way in which I threw my wits and my charm, ostensible charm, at this subject of depression. And writing not ingratiatingly but seductively, compellingly so that you’d want to read about it.”

Craziness is a bit of a leitmotif in Word by Word. The book…mixes memoiristic meditations on the lexicographic life along with a detailed description of the brain-twisting work of writing dictionaries.” Here’s an article about author Kory Stamper.

Says Catherine Burns (All These Wonders): “One of the fun things about a book like this is that people might buy it because they want to read John Turturro’s story or Louis C.K.’s story, but I hope that they’ll fall in love with someone that they haven’t heard from, too. I hope that readers will come into the book with an open heart, because they’re going to meet a lot of people they might not otherwise get a chance to.”

The landscape of Michigan speaks to me, and the humility and humor of the people here makes sense,” says Bonnie Jo Campbell (Mothers, Tell Your Daughters). “It just feels right to live here, in a place where I don’t dare put on airs. When I tell my family and local friends I’m a National Book Award finalist, they say, fine, sounds okay to us.”

Here’s Michael Tolkin’s NK3: “An original and absorbing novel — written in clear, rich prose — that imagines a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles where dystopia is fine-tuned to our present turmoil. His novel takes place in a near future where memories have been wiped out and basic technical skills are the best currency for survival. As Tolkin imagines it, the shattering of our mighty society comes not through nuclear winter, but through the whimper of a sudden viral attack from North Korea.”


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