Ausgezeichnet: The Goldsmiths Prize 2017
*WINNER OF THE GOLDSMITHS PRIZE 2017*
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE 2018*
*LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018*
A GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR
A TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR
AN INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE YEAR
From the internationally acclaimed, Man Booker-shortlisted Nicola Barker comes a new novel, a post-post apocalyptic story that overflows with pure creative talent.
Imagine a perfect world where everything is known, where everything is open, where there can be no doubt, no hatred, no poverty, no greed. Imagine a System which both nurtures and protects. A Community which nourishes and sustains. An infinite world. A world without sickness, without death. A world without God. A world without fear.
Could you...might you be happy there?
H(A)PPY is a post-post apocalyptic Alice in Wonderland, a story which tells itself and then consumes itself. It's a place where language glows, where words buzz and sparkle and finally implode. It's a novel which twists and writhes with all the terrifying precision of a tiny fish in an Escher lithograph - a book where the mere telling of a story is the end of certainty.
"Nicola Barker's H(A)PPY is a work of vaulting ambition. It is deathly serious but played out with the lightest of touches. She takes the vapid discourse of social media blather, with all its 'likes' and 'favourites', and extrapolates madly to make a language for an utterly believable future world, a world enslaved by the blandness of its technology. Line by line, the novel carefully builds its music and teases out its crazed riffs. It's very funny but there are pockets of great eeriness, and of savagery even. It's a novel-as-object, too, with a typography employed as visual code, but its design always has a narrative purpose. Only a writer of uncanny ability could bring this novel to such memorable, pulsing life. It's very moving." Kevin Barry
Nicola Barker was born in Ely in 1966 and spent part of her childhood in South Africa. She is the author of twelve novels – including
The Yips and
In the Approaches – and two short story collections. She has been twice longlisted and once shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, has won the IMPAC, the John Llewellyn Rhys and the Hawthornden Prizes, and was named one of
Granta’s 20 Best Young British Writers in 2003. Her latest novel,
H(A)PPY, won the 2017 Goldsmiths Prize and was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018.