Viking Happy for You: A novel
Viking Happy for You: A novel

Happy for You: A novel

By Claire Stanford


Publication Date: April 19, 2022

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A whip-smart, funny, affecting novel about a young woman who takes a job at a tech company looking to break into the “happiness market”—even as her own happiness feels more unknowable than ever

Four years into work on a still-unfinished philosophy dissertation, and seemingly unready to accept a marriage proposal from her long-term boyfriend, Evelyn Kominsky Kumamoto feels stalled. Meanwhile, all around her, everyone else seems to be getting on with their lives: her corn-fed, relentlessly optimistic boyfriend, Jamie, has no hesitation about committing to a shared future, and even her reserved father is energized by a new relationship—his first since her mother’s passing when Evelyn was just fourteen. The privacy-invading, norm-reinforcing apps, algorithms, and self-optimization messaging that surround her seem more sure of what Evelyn should think and want than she is.

Looking for a change, Evelyn accepts a job as a researcher at the third-most popular internet company, housed at a glass and steel office building in downtown San Francisco. There, she is charged with aiding in the development of an app that will help users quantify—and augment—their happiness. As she grapples with the tech world’s bewildering work culture and jolting excess, an unexpected development in her personal life upends her assumptions about her future, and Evelyn embarks on a journey towards an authentic happiness all her own.

Wry, touching, and sharply attuned to the ambivalence, atomization, and illusion of control that characterize modern life, Happy for You is a story of a young woman at a crossroads that movingly explores how, even in this mediated world, our emotions, contradictions, and vulnerabilities have a transformative power we could never predict.

Story Locale: San Francisco, CA and Hawaii

About the Author

Claire Stanford’s fiction and essays have appeared in The Rumpus, Tin House Flash Fridays, Black Warrior Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, and other publications. She received her MFA from the University of Minnesota, and her work has received fellowships from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Born and raised in Berkeley, she lives in Los Angeles, where she is a PhD candidate in English at UCLA.

Author Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Format: Hardcover

Length: 256 pages

Publisher: Viking

Publication Date: April 19, 2022

ISBN: 9780593298268

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