Happy are the Happy by Yasmina Reza
Translator: John Cullen
“Happy are the loved ones and the lovers and those who can do without love. Happy are the happy.” —Jorge Luis Borges
This citation of Borges resonates with every character in Yasmina Reza’s novel, except that they are never so lucky. In fact, what happens to them is the exact opposite of what they crave. The twenty short chapters that make up this unusual book deal with both marital and extramarital vicissitudes, the elusiveness of intimacy, the fear of loneliness, and the desire to be loved or at least understood just once in our lives. The mixing of tones—cruelty and despair competing with humor and fantasy—and the quality of the monologues—taut and highly original—adds to the novel’s virtuosity.
Source: Jewish Book Council