A collection of 60-plus miniature fictions riffing on the theme of happiness, written as an antidote to the all-pervasive climate of doom that we are living through. This is fiction that is meant to delight; it’s good to be alive and we often forget that. Forget to laugh, forget to love, forget the possibility of joyous moments – as we continue to be overwhelmed and overtaken by bad news. If anything is going to get us through these frightening times, it’s this flip side. Many of the miniatures in The Great Happiness are narratives with a twist, ones that radiate from a particular avenue in a particular West Coast town. Others are imaginative flights, such as the recently dead experimental novelist “sitting in” on the obituary writing session convened by her husband, or the woman who rescues an Atlantic lobster from Save-On-Foods and ships it to P.E.I. to be released back into the ocean. The miniatures in The Great Happiness are “fictions that think,” each one a combination of narrative, prose poem and joke (in varying degrees), and always heeding Charles Simic’s dictum to keep it brief and “tell us everything.”
M.A.C. Farrant is the author of fourteen works of fiction, non-fiction, memoir, and over one hundred book reviews and essays for the Vancouver Sun and the Globe & Mail. Her memoir, My Turquoise Years, which she adapted for the stage, premiered April 4 to May 4, 2013 at the Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her novel, The Strange Truth About Us: A Novel of Absence, was chosen by The Globe & Mail as a Best Book of 2012. The World Afloat: Miniatures, a collection of very short fiction, won the City of Victoria Book Butler Book Prize for 2014.
A full-time writer currently residing in North Saanich, B.C., Farrant’s work as been nominated for many awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, National Magazine Awards, Victoria Book Prize, and two Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards for her play My Turquoise Years, among others. She has taught writing at the University of Victoria, Victoria School of Writing, and Banff Centre for the Arts, and was writer-in-residence at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.