Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Against Happiness now in paperback

My book Against Happiness (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) was just released in paperback a couple of weeks ago. I decided to start this blog to discuss my book's special relevance in these troubled financial times.

While my book was a critical and commercial success when it was released in its hardcover form last year--it garnered praise from the likes of Lewis Black, for instance, and made the LA Times bestseller list--I believe that our current historical moment makes my book much more relevant than it was last January. Our country was not yet in a recession back in those days; indeed, most Americans were still more or less still living their lives of trouble-free decadence, seeking the happiness fix from the many material comforts our lucrative industries daily produced.

Now, however, the economic crisis is forcing Americans to question their commitments to superficial happiness. U.S. citizens are currently searching for rich experiences that don't require money; they are turning more toward the lasting treasures of the contemplative life; they are learning from their sorrow, discovering powers unavailable to them in their former contentment.

My book is precisely about the value of melancholy for living a full and vital life. I believe that the wisdom of sadness is exactly what Americans need at this moment, and I think that my book offers this wisdom. Over the next few posts, I plan to develop the ideas that seem especially applicable to our troubled times.


  1. Glad to have found your blog. I think I'm finally going to get a copy of the book and read it... Hope all is well.

  2. Glad to hear you're interested in getting my book. I hope you do and find it interesting. I look forward to hearing your reactions. Please spread the word about the blog.