There Is Happiness: New and Selected Stories

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W. W. Norton & Company
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About the Author
Brad Watson (1955-2020) was the author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Heaven of Mercury and Miss Jane, and two collections of stories, Last Days of the Dog-Men and Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives. His work has been recognized by the short list and long list of the National Book Award, the International Dublin Literary Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Great Lakes New Writers Award, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Fiction (twice), the Southern Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction, a National Endowment of the Arts Grant in Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Harper Lee Award, and the Award in Letters granted by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He taught creative writing at Harvard University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Wyoming, Laramie.

Joy Williams is the author of five novels--including The Quick and the Dead, a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize--and four collections of stories, as well as Ill Nature, a book of essays that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Among her many honors are the Rea Award for the Short Story and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2008.

Brad Watson is best known for his novels, but his remarkable talent truly shines in short fiction. It's hard to know which element is strongest--his bold inventiveness for story or the deep compassion he brings to his characters. As I read these wonderful stories, I often stopped to reread sentences, stricken by awe at his glittering prose. Always unpredictable and moving, this book is truly great. For those people already familiar with Brad's work, you are in for a wonderful treat. If you're new to his work, I envy you for the many books ahead of you to revel in.--Chris Offutt, author of Code of the Hills
Brad Watson's stories have the attentiveness to language and a narrative energy we expect of our best fiction writers, but what sets Watson's work apart from his contemporaries is a singular strangeness. The world we know is always present, yet it is widened into something more wonderous, more heartfelt, and we find ourselves elevated into the sublime. There Is Happiness allows the reader to encounter the same generosity of spirit Brad Watson showed to those of us fortunate enough to know him in his all-too-brief life.--Ron Rash, author of The Caretaker