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Dublin City Library & Archive

144-146 Pearse Street

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Man Booker longlisted author Niall Williams in conversation with Niall MacMonagle about his new novel This is Happiness, described by Rick O'Shea as 'funny, insightful...and in Faha he creates somewhere as vivid as Joyce's Dublin or Kevin Barry's Bohane'

This is Happiness (Bloomsbury)

Change is coming to Faha, a small Irish parish unaltered in a thousand years.For one thing, the rain is stopping. Nobody remembers when it started; rain on the western seaboard is a condition of living. But now – just as Father Coffey proclaims the coming of the electricity – the rain clouds are lifting. Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe is idling in the unexpected sunshine when Christy makes his first entrance into Faha, bringing secrets he needs to atone for. Though he can't explain it, Noel knows right then: something has changed

As the people of Faha anticipate the endlessly procrastinated advent of the electricity, and Noel navigates his own coming-of-age and his fallings in and out of love, Christy's past gradually comes to light, casting a new glow on a small world.

This Is Happiness is a tender portrait of a community – its idiosyncrasies and traditions, its paradoxes and kindnesses, its failures and triumphs – and a coming-of-age tale like no other. Luminous and lyrical, yet anchored by roots running deep into the earthy and everyday, it is about the power of stories: their invisible currents that run through all we do, writing and rewriting us, and the transforming light that they throw onto our world.

Niall Williams was born in Dublin in 1958. He moved to New York in 1980 where he married Christine Breen, whom he had met while she was a Master's student also at UCD. A few years later, they moved to the cottage in west Clare that Christine's grandfather had left eighty years before to find his life in America. He is the author of 9 previous novels including Four Letters of Love (currently being developed as a film) and the Booker longlisted History of the Rain. He has also written 3 plays produced by the Abbey, Peacock and Druid Theatres.

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Dublin City Library & Archive

144-146 Pearse Street

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