Happiness is big business. Books, consultants, psychologists, organizations, and even governments tout happiness secrets that are backed by scientific findings. The problem is that all of this science is done by and for cis white men. And some of the most vocal of these happiness experts were announcing that women could become happier by espousing "traditional" values and eschewing feminism. Skeptical of this hypothesis, Ariel Gore took a deep dive into the optimism industrial complex, reading the history, combing the research, attending the conferences, interviewing the thought leaders, and exploring her own and her friends' personal experiences and desires. Fuck Happiness is a nuanced, thoughtful examination of what happiness means and to whom, how it's played a role in defining modern gender roles and power structures, and how we can all have a more empowered relationship with the pursuit of joy in our lives.
Ariel Gore is a Lambda Literary and Alternative Press award-winning editor and the author of eleven books, including The Hip Mama Survival Guide, Atlas of the Human Heart (a finalist for the Oregon Book Award), and Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness. Her memoir The End of Eve and her novel We Were Witches both won New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. Her spell collection, Hexing the Patriarchy, is out now from Seal Press. She has taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts and the University of New Mexico and currently teaches online at literarykitchen.com.
[Review Quote (previous edition)] "An insightful observer, Gore notes that the things she thought might make her happy did not, and she notes further that a vast majority of books on happiness and positive psychology have been written by men...puzzled and intrigued by that, but she was irritated, too, and began her own exploration of women's happiness through hundreds of interviews." - New York Times