Happy Are the Happy (Hardcover)

By Yasmina Reza, John Cullen (Translator)

Other Press (NY), 9781590516928, 160pp.

Publication Date: January 27, 2015



"Happy are the loved ones and the lovers and those who can do without love. Happy are the happy." --Jorge Luis Borges
This citation of Borges resonates with every character in Yasmina Reza's novel, except that they are never so lucky. In fact, what happens to them is the exact opposite of what they crave. The twenty short chapters that make up this unusual book deal with both marital and extramarital vicissitudes, the elusiveness of intimacy, the fear of loneliness, and the desire to be loved or at least understood just once in our lives. The mixing of tones--cruelty and despair competing with humor and fantasy--and the quality of the monologues--taut and highly original--adds to the novel's virtuosity. This is without a doubt Reza's most accomplished work.

About the Author

Yasmina Reza is a playwright and novelist whose plays have all been multi-award-winning critical and popular successes and have been translated into more than thirty languages. She has written six books, including Dawn Dusk or Night: A Year with Nicolas Sarkozy (Knopf 2008). She lives in Paris. John Cullen is the translator of many books from Spanish, French, German, and Italian, including Yasmina Khadra's Middle East Trilogy (The Swallows of Kabul, The Attack, and The Sirens of Baghdad), Eduardo Sacheri's The Secret in Their Eyes (Other Press), Carlos Zanon's The Barcelona Brothers (Other Press) and Rithy Panh's The Elimination (Other Press). He lives in upstate New York. The author lives in Paris, France.