Happiness, As Such
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Happiness, As Such

Natalia Ginzburg, Minna Zallman Proctor

‘Dear Michele, she wrote, I’m writing principally to tell you that your father is sick. Go visit him. He says he hasn t seen you for days.’

Michele is the beloved only son of a large, dysfunctional family in 1970s Italy. Headstrong and independent, he has disappeared to London without explanation. Back in Italy, his father lies dying. Michele’s departure sets forth a series of events that will bring together everyone in his life - his mother Adriana, living in the countryside with her two twin daughters Bebetta and Nannetta, his long-suffering sister Angelica, his loyal and sad friend Osvaldo, and Mara, a young woman who is prone to showing up on doorsteps with a baby that may or may not be Michele’s.

The story of the Prodigal Son turned on its head, Happiness, As Such is a short, absurdly funny novel-in-letters about complicated families and missed connections.    

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