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Happiness, Like Water Paperback – August 13, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 71 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In her first collection of stories, Nigerian-born Okparanta focuses primarily on African women and their relationships with family, lovers, colleagues, and the community at large. Okparanta draws on her experience as a Jehovah’s Witness growing up in Port Harcout and immigrating to the U.S. These are fierce, unflinching stories of the complicated knotting of close ties and the strange behaviors of language. In stories of hearsay and rumor, Okparanta portrays the ways language creeps around social circles and intrudes, distorts, and penetrates the heart of life. In “Wahala!,” after receiving questionable advice from a shaman, a husband and wife hear chillingly different intonations in each other’s intimate exhalations. In “Fairness,” young girls overhear talk about using bleach to lighten skin color and experiment with the treatment to horrendous results. In other stories, Okparanta presents a picture of the U.S. as envisioned and talked about by Nigerians overseas. Named one of Granta’s New Voices, Okparanta joins the good company of young writers like NoViolet Bulawayo (We Need New Names, 2013) and Téa Obreht (The Tiger’s Wife, 2011). --Diego Báez

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2015 Nigerian Writers Awards Nominee (Young Motivational Writer of the Year)  
2014 O. Henry Award Winner
2014 Lambda Literary Award Winner
2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature Finalist

Product details

  • Paperback : 196 pages
  • Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
  • ISBN-10 : 0544003454
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0544003453
  • Product Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.53 x 8 inches
  • Publisher : Mariner Books; 1st Edition (August 13, 2013)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 71 ratings