Manu Joseph - The Illicit Happiness of Other People - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781848543102
    • Publication date:23 May 2013
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    • ISBN:9781848545205
    • Publication date:16 Aug 2012

The Illicit Happiness of Other People

A Darkly Comic Novel Set in Modern India

By Manu Joseph

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  • £18.99

A darkly comic novel set in modern India

Seventeen-year-old Unni has done something terrible. The only clue to his actions lies in a comic strip he has drawn, which has fallen into the hands of his father Ousep - a nocturnal anarchist with a wife who is fantasizing about his early death. Ousep begins investigating the extraordinary life of his son, but as he circles closer and closer to the truth, he unravels a secret that shakes his family to the core.

Set in Madras in the 1990s, where every adolescent male is preparing for the toughest exam in the world, this is a powerful and darkly comic story involving an alcoholic's probe into the minds of the sober, an adolescent cartoonist's dangerous interpretation of absolute truth, an inner circle of talented schizophrenics and the pure love of a 12-year-old boy for a beautiful girl.

Biographical Notes

Manu Joseph is a columnist with the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times. This is his second novel. His first darkly comic novel, Serious Men, won the Hindu Best Fiction Award 2010 and was one of Huffington Post's 10 best books of 2010. It was also winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize and shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.

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  • ISBN: 9781848543096
  • Publication date: 16 Aug 2012
  • Page count: 304
  • Imprint: John Murray
'Quite an achievement' — The Economist
'There's plenty to enjoy . . . the key revelations are powerful, as a final twist transforms the novel from an offbeat romp to a melancholy take on the age-old story of adolescent desire and its frustrations' — Metro
'Both wittily funny and darkly serious' — Daily Mail
'Joseph's prose is exquisitely phrased without an excess of sentimentality...the confident, immersing voice of ILLICIT HAPPINESS promises readers this is not the last we've heard of Manu Jospeh' — Daily Telegraph
'A refreshing read' — Time Out

Praise for Serious Men:

Manu Joseph's first novel elegantly describes collisions with an unyielding status quo, ably counterpointing the frustrations of the powerless with the unfulfilling realities of power. With this astute comedy of manners he makes a convincing bid for his own recognition as a novelist of serious talent, the latest addition to a roster of Indian writers who are creating fine literary art from their country's fearsome contradictions

— Peter Carty, Independent
Manu Joseph's satirical tale of an ostensibly new India still in thrall to its caste-ridden and sexist traditions is so much more than a mere comic caper . . . Sophisticated entertainment — Catherine Taylor, Guardian
The finest comic novelists know that a small world can illuminate a culture and an age...with this sad-funny debut Joseph does just that — Boyd Tonkin, Books to light up lazy days, Independent
He has written a debut novel that skewers a society where new ambitions and older class divisions co-exist. From the contrasts of contemporary India, he extracts pointed, often bitter comedy — Sunday Times
The writing is exuberant — TLS
Joseph's portrait of these fascinating, flawed human beings is smartly written and consistently entertaining — Irish Times
John Murray

Serious Men

Manu Joseph
Authors:
Manu Joseph

Winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize and shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.Ayyan Mani is a man born to greater things, which wouldn't surprise his neighbours in the vast tenement building in which he lives, where to be sober and employed practically makes a man a legend. He works as an assistant at the Institute of Theory and Research, where he studies with amusement and envy the public battles and private love affairs of the squabbling scientists. But when an opportunity for betterment presents itself in the form of his 'gifted' ten-year-old son Adi, father and son embark on an outrageous ruse that will have far-reaching consequences.Manu Joseph's archly comic debut is a tale of a man's attempt to elevate himself and his family above the banality of ordinary existence.

Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes was born in 1969 and brought up in London. A journalist and writer, she worked for the Independent until 2001. She lives in East Anglia with her husband and three children.Jojo has twice won the Romantic Novelists' Association Novel of the Year Award: in 2011 for The Last Letter From Your Lover and in 2003 for Foreign Fruit. The Ship of Brides and Silver Bay were shortlisted for the 2005 and 2007 RNA award and Silver Bay was shortlisted for the inaugural Good Housekeeping 2007 Book of the Year award. You can read Jojo's blog or find out more from her website, www.jojomoyes.com, follow her on Twitter @jojomoyes or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jojo.moyes.

Julia Stagg

Julia Stagg lived in the Ariège-Pyrenees region of France for six years where she ran a small auberge and tried to convince the French that the British can cook. Having done her bit for Anglo-Gallic gastronomic relations, she now divides her time between the Yorkshire Dales and the Pyrenees. You can find out more on her website www.jstagg.com or on Facebook www.facebook.com/staggjulia and follow her on Twitter @juliastagg.

Julian Stockwin

Julian Stockwin was sent at the age of fourteen to Indefatigable, a tough sea-training school. He joined the Royal Navy at fifteen before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy, where he served for eight years in the Far East, Antarctic waters and the South Seas. In Vietnam he saw active service in a carrier task force. After leaving the Navy (rated Petty Officer), Julian practised as an educational psychologist. He lived for some time in Hong Kong, where he was commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve. He was awarded the MBE and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy. More information can be found on his website at www.julianstockwin.com.

Julie Corbin

Julie Corbin is Scottish and grew up just outside Edinburgh. She has lived in East Sussex for the last twenty-five years and raised her three sons in a village close to the Ashdown Forest. She is trained as a nurse and combines running the medical department in a boarding school with writing novels, short stories and currently a radio play.Her psychological thrillers have been described as 'creepy and gripping' (Closer) and 'remarkably assured... suspenseful narrative' (Daily Mail)She speaks at writing events, book groups and libraries, and runs writing workshops for beginners and more experienced writers.Visit Julie's website at www.juliecorbin.com and follow her on Twitter @Julie_Corbin

Karen Campbell

Karen Campbell is a former police officer who lives in Glasgow with her family. She began writing in earnest on the renowned Glasgow University Creative Writing course.www.karencampbell.co.ukwww.twitter.com/writerkcampbell

Karen Robards

Karen Robards is the internationally bestselling author of over forty romantic suspense novels, which have regularly appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, among others. She is the mother of three boys and lives with her family in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.You can find out more at www.karenrobards.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorKarenRobards or follow her on Twitter @TheKarenRobards.

Kate Fenton

Kate Fenton was born in Oldham and educated in Cheshire, Manchester and St Hilda's College, Oxford. As a BBC features and documentaries producer she worked for Radio Wales, the World Service and Radio 4. She lives on the North York Moors with her husband, actor Ian Carmichael. To find out more, visit Kate's website, www.katefenton.com.

Kate Jacobs

Kate Jacobs left her native Canada to earn a graduate degree at New York University - and made her home in Manhattan for a decade, where she worked at Redbook, Working Woman, Family Life and LifetimeTV.com. Currently she lives in Southern California with her husband.

Katie MacAlister

For as long as she can remember, Katie MacAlister has loved reading. Growing up in a family where a weekly visit to the library was a given, Katie spent much of her time with her nose buried in a book. Despite her love for novels, she didn't think of writing them until she was contracted to write a non-fiction book about software. Since her editor refused to allow her to include either witty dialogue or love scenes in the software book, Katie swiftly resolved to switch to fiction, where she could indulge in world building, tormenting characters, and falling madly in love with all her heroes. Two years after she started writing novels, Katie sold her first romance, Noble Intentions. More than thirty books later, her novels have been translated into numerous languages, been recorded as audiobooks, received several awards, and placed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. She also writes for the young adult audience as Katie Maxwell.Katie lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and dogs, and can often be found lurking around online.Contact KatieYou can write to Katie at katie@katiemacalister.com or via snail mail at:Katie MacAlisterc/o Three Seas Literary AgencyPO Box 8571Madison, WI 53708, USA

Kay Langdale

Kay Langdale is the author of five novels: Away From You, Choose Me, Her Giant Octopus Moment, What the Heart Knows (Rowohlt, Germany) and Redemption (Transita; published as If Not Love by Thomas Dunne Books.) Visit Kay's website at www.kaylangdale.com. Follow her on Twitter: @KayLangdale.

Kevin Brockmeier

Kevin Brockmeier lives in Arkansas, USA. His short stories have won many awards. THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEAD is his first novel to be published in the UK.

Lou Wakefield

Born and brought up in Leicester, Lou Wakefield is a writer, director and actor. Highlights of her eclectic career include being in the original cast of TOP GIRLS at the Royal Court and the Public Theatre in New York; playing Janet in the ROCKY HORROR SHOW at the King's Road Theatre in 1975, and Jackie Woodstock in THE ARCHERS. TV appearances include INSIDE OUT, MORSE, THE BILL and CASUALTY. Amongst her many television productions, she has directed CORONATION STREETand BROOKSIDE. She wrote the award winning FIRM FRIENDS for ITV, and co-writes the highly successful Ladies of Letters for BBC Radio 4, which stars Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge.

Lucy Dillon

Lucy Dillon was born in Cumbria. She won the Romantic Novelists' Association Novel of the Year Award in 2010 for Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts, and is the bestselling author of four other novels: The Ballroom Class, Walking Back to Happiness, The Secret of Happy Ever After and A Hundred Pieces of Me. Lucy now divides her time between London and the Wye Valley where she enjoys walking in the Malvern Hills with her basset hounds, Violet and Bonham. You can follow her on Twitter @lucy_dillon or on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/LucyDillonBooks.

Mandasue Heller

Mandasue Heller was born in Cheshire and moved to Manchester in 1982. She spent ten years living in the notorious Hulme Crescents which have since become the background to her novels. Not only is she a talented writer, but she has also sung in cabaret and rock groups, seventies soul cover bands and blues jam bands.www.facebook.com/mandasue.hellerwww.twitter.com/mandasueheller

Marina Fiorato

Marina Fiorato is half-Venetian. She was born in Manchester and raised in the Yorkshire Dales. She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she read for a master's degree in Shakespeare. After university she studied art and worked in the film and music industries, creating visuals for U2, The Rolling Stones and the Queen musical We Will Rock You. Her novels Daughter of Siena and Beatrice & Benedick were shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Historial Fiction Award. Marina was married on the Grand Canal and lives in north London with her husband, son and daughter. You can find out more about Marina and her writing at www.marinafiorato.com and follow her on Twitter @marinafiorato

Martin Davies

Martin Davies grew up in North West England. All his writing is done in cafes, on buses or on tube trains, and an aversion to laptops means that he always works in longhand. He has travelled widely, including in the Middle East and India, and substantial parts of THE UNICORN ROAD were written while travelling through Sicily. He works as a consultant in the broadcasting industry.Translation rights in Martin's books have now been sold in Germany, Sweden, Poland, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Korea, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Holland.

Melissa Hill

Melissa Hill lives with her husband Kevin, their daughter Carrie, and their dog Homer in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. Previous titles, including The Charm Bracelet, Something from Tiffany's, The Truth About You and Please Forgive Me have all been bestsellers, and her books have been translated into twenty-three different languages. She is a Number One bestseller in Ireland and Italy.You can find out more at www.melissahill.info and at www.facebook.com/melissahillbooks or follow Melissa on Twitter @melissahillbks.

Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster. His novels include The Hired Man, for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, Without a City Wall, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, The Soldier's Return, winner of the WHSmith Literary Award, A Son of War and Crossing the Lines, both of which were longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, A Place in England, which was longlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize, and most recently Grace and Mary. He has also written several works of non-fiction, the most recent being The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.

Michael Koryta

Michael Koryta's novels have won the LA Times Book Prize and the Great Lakes Book Award and been nominated for the Edgar, Shamus, Quill and Barry awards. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, he published his first novel at the age of twenty-one. His work has been translated into twenty languages.Visit Michael Koryta's website at www.michaelkoryta.com and follow Michael on Twitter @mjkoryta