Happy Stories, Mostly


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Feminist Press
Publish Date
4.8 X 7.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Norman Erikson Pasaribu is a Toba Batak writer of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Happy Stories, Mostly (translated by Tiffany Tsao) won the 2022 Republic of Consciousness Prize and was longlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize.

Tiffany Tsao translates Indonesian fiction and poetry. Her translations of Norman Erikson Pasaribu's fiction have won the Republic of Consciousness Prize in the UK and been longlisted for the International Booker Prize. She is also the translator of Budi Darma's People from Bloomington (Penguin Classics 2022). She also writes novels, the most recent of which is The Majesties (Atria Books 2020). She lives in Sydney.


"A remarkable collection of speculative and absurdist fiction." --Publishers Weekly, starred review"A
beautiful collection that refuses to shy away from the often complex
and difficult queer experience... Parasibu's is a promising new voice." --Kirkus Reviews
"Cerebral, playful, abrasive yet tender--there are not enough adjectives to describe Happy Stories, Mostly. Every page crackles with energy in Tiffany Tsao's brilliant translation. Norman Erikson Pasaribu takes risks big and small, and somehow, magically, lands them all." --YZ Chin, author of Edge Case

"Pasaribu is one of the most important Indonesian writers today." --Litro Magazine

"Happy Stories, Mostly ... navigates queer suffering with a deep supply of tenderness and humour - and with empathy for all its characters." --Exberliner Magazine

"An enticing collection, where the smallest pedestrian acts--such as finding a secret journal or getting a cubicle to work in--have the power to force characters to question their internalized biases." --Asymptote Journal

Praise for Previous Work:

"Pasaribu tells a truth plain and human, stripped to reveal its strangeness, its absurdity, its pain. . . A quiet but rigid resistance against that world's desire to maim the queer spirit." --Singapore Review of Books

"The book's formal diversity, epigraphs, mixing of genres, signal to a medley of

traditions that cannot easily be explained as a singular poetry from the 'margins.' By referencing Indonesian writers like Wiji Thukul alongside Herta Müller and Richard Siken, Sergius Seeks Bacchus emerges not from the sidelines but from within the continuous and intertextual script of transnationalism." --The Poetry Review

"Literally and metaphorically driven underground by unorthodox desires, Pasaribu's primary stance is seeking; theirs is a restless questing as his cast of characters search for a shared history that is textually present but remains elusively out of reach." --Mascara Literary Review

"A new and magical voice emerging in literature, yet one almost preternaturally wise, profoundly celebratory of the history and possibility of poetry." --Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap and Damascus