Calendar of Events

Header Image

Calendar of Events and Classes



Aminatta Forna discusses 'Happiness'
Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2018, 7 – 8:15 p.m.
Aminatta Forna discusses 'Happiness'
WhereCentral Library
Room LocationLevel 1 - Microsoft Auditorium
AudienceAdults
LanguageEnglish
SummaryJoin us to hear Aminatta Forna discuss her latest novel, a delicate tale of love and loss that considers the interconnectedness of lives and the true nature of happiness.
DescriptionLondon. A fox makes its way across Waterloo Bridge. The distraction causes two pedestrians to collide―Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes, and Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist there to deliver a keynote speech. From this chance encounter, Aminatta Forna’s unerring powers of observation show how in the midst of the rush of a great city lie numerous moments of connection.

Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma, as he has done many times before; and to contact the daughter of friends, his “niece” who hasn’t called home in a while. Ama has been swept up in an immigration crackdown, and now her young son Tano is missing.
When, by chance, Attila runs into Jean again, she mobilizes the network of rubbish men she uses as volunteer fox spotters. Security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens―mainly West African immigrants who work the myriad streets of London―come together to help. As the search for Tano continues, a deepening friendship between Attila and Jean unfolds.

Meanwhile a consulting case causes Attila to question the impact of his own ideas on trauma, the values of the society he finds himself in, and a grief of his own.
Aminatta Forna is the author of the novels Ancestor Stones, The Memory of Love, and The Hired Man, as well as the memoir The Devil That Danced on the Water. Forna's books have been translated into sixteen languages. Her essays have appeared in Granta, The Guardian, The Observer, and Vogue. She is currently the Lannan Visiting Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University.

“Aminatta Forna expertly weaves her characters’ stories, past and present, in and out of the larger story of London, which becomes as rich a character as the human beings and, indeed, the foxes; and she makes us care deeply about them all, the foxes, the people and the city. A terrific novel.”―Salman Rushdie, author of The Golden House

“From the understated and inexorable pull of plot and emotion to the luxuriousness of the details of varied ways of living and being to the tidal pull of language, Happiness is a great accomplishment.” ―Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer and The Refugees
View in Catalog"Happiness" by Aminatta Forna
NotesLibrary events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required.

This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, author series sponsor Gary Kunis, and media sponsor The Seattle Times and presented in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Parking in the Central Library garage will be available for $6 after 5 p.m.
PodcastThis event will be recorded for podcast.
Contact Info*Central Library
Contact Phone206-386-4636
Have a question?Ask Us
Room CapacitySpace is limited at library events. Please come early to make sure you get a seat. Due to the fire code, we can’t exceed the maximum capacity for our rooms.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
View CalendarPrint