Happiness, Like Water


Chinelo Okparanta

Published: 2 May 2013
Trade Paperback, Demy PB
135x216mm, 208 pages
ISBN: 9781847088307

Other Editions


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Published: 7 August 2014
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 208 pages
ISBN: 9781847088314

Ebook Available


In this debut collection, Chinelo Okparanta introduces us to families burdened equally by the past and the future. Here, we meet a childless couple with very different desires; a college professor comforting a troubled student; a mother seeking refuge from an abusive husband; an embittered spinster recalling the loss of a dear childhood friend; and a young woman waiting to join her lover abroad. High expectations - whether of success in Nigeria, or the dream of opportunity and accomplishment in America - consume them.

In language that is both raw and elegant, Okparanta's stories are often told from the point of a view of a child - a little girl, an adult daughter. Her closely observed characters populate stories that offer a clear-eyed view of an often traumatic family life, questioning the purpose of their time on earth, and whether there is a hereafter, or a different kind of afterlife altogether, outside of Port Harcourt.

Happiness, Like Water heralds the arrival of a fearless and sensitive literary voice.

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