In a world become ever larger and more impersonal, Malouf finds
happiness in an unlikely place.This is a book to savour and reflect
upon by one of Australia's greatest novelists.
David Malouf is internationally recognised as one of the world's finest and most versatile contemporary writers. Since his first collection of poetry in 1962, he has published novels, short stories, collections of poetry, opera libretti, a play and a volume of autobiography. His novels include An Imaginary Life, Harland's Half Acre, The Conversations at Curlaw Creek, The Great World, winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger in 1991, and Remembering Babylon, shortlisted for the 1993 Booker Prize and winner of the inaugural international IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Born and brought up in Brisbane, David Malouf lives in Sydney.
In a world filled with devastating natural disasters and discouraging economic declines, who can be happy? As award-winning novelist and poet Malouf (Rabsin) reminds us in this yawn-inducing meditation, "happiness is surely among the simplest of human emotions and the most spontaneous." Drawing deeply from the philosophical wells of Plato, Heidegger, Jeremy Bentham, and others, he reminds us that philosophers have long distinguished the pleasures associated with material goods from the longer lasting contentment that comes from spiritual well-being. Happiness, for the ancients, lay in self-containment and self-sufficiency. Some 18th- and 19th-century thinkers promoted the idea that happiness occurs when individuals achieve certain goals, such as higher production or more land being brought under cultivation. Malouf reminds us that we often confuse the happy life with the good life, which we measure in material terms of proper food and housing, justice, civil liberty, and civil safety. In the end, after all his searching, Malouf comes to the less than profound conclusion that happiness grows out of a balanced life, and that happiness is subjective-different for every person-and fleeting, much like the lessons of this simplistic book. Agent: Sophy Williams, Black Inc. Books (Australia). (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.