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Stories of Happy People Paperback – June 17, 1986

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The "happy people" in these 10 short stories, originally published in Sweden in 1981, include a research engineer who is the only person in the town of Trummelsberg to know the latitude and longitude at which he lives and an elderly woman in a nursing home in Koping who struggles with strong memories and the imminence of death. In "What Does Not Kill Us, Tends to Make Us Stronger," a Swedish professor of literature living in Houston contemplates "what Saint-John Perse had called 'time crests,' the experience of finding yourself in a civilization at the moment when it reaches its fullest development, when its most secret energies come into bloom." Exploring the 20th century time crest appears to be Gustafsson's goal; if at the end of these stories the reader is stirred but has the feeling that something has been left unanswered, it is only because the questions are so wise.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English, Swedish (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing; First Edition edition (June 17, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811209784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811209786
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,276,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully written Gustafsson blends literature with philosophy in a very poignant way within these short stories. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the combination of those things.
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Format: Paperback
These stories are unique, philosophical, oddly shaped, opaque, and (paradoxically) illuminating. At times, they operate like memory: seemingly capricious at the outset, intensely focussed later on. I don't know of anyone else who writes quite like Gustafsson.
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Format: Hardcover
"Stories of Happy People" is one of my very favorite collections of stories; there's absolutely nothing like it that I know of. Lars Gustaffson--a Swedish writer long since transplanted to Texas--is one of the greatest unknown writers alive today.
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Format: Hardcover
I like this guy. He really has a command of intuition, but I feel like he is always in a state of self-doubt. He manages to feel the moment and creates a passing second that lives vividly, but then he philosophizes beyond the moment and wastes the opportunity to be profound. Still, I like this guy. He tells me a lot about the beating heart, the hot blood,the cool calculation, the keen insight, the flat out lie.
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