Happiness, Like Water | Granta

  • Published: 07/08/2014
  • ISBN: 9781847088314
  • 129x20mm
  • 208 pages

Happiness, Like Water

Chinelo Okparanta

In this debut collection, Chinelo Okparanta introduces us to families burdened equally by the past and the future. Here, we meet a childless couple with very different desires; a college professor comforting a troubled student; a mother seeking refuge from an abusive husband; an embittered spinster recalling the loss of a dear childhood friend; and a young woman waiting to join her lover abroad. High expectations – whether of success in Nigeria, or the dream of opportunity and accomplishment in America – consume them.

In language that is both raw and elegant, Happiness, Like Water heralds the arrival of a fearless and sensitive literary voice.

Without bluster, Chinelo Okparanta writes stories that are brave and devastating

Mohsin Hamid, author, The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Intricate, graceful prose propels Okparanta's profoundly moving and illuminating book. I devoured these stories and immediately wanted more. This is an arrival

NoViolet Bulawayo, author, We Need New Names

This is an extremely promising debut: the handling of tone and perspective is assured; the prose lucid and elegant throughout

David Evans, Financial Times

The Author

Chinelo Okparanta was born in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. She was one of Granta’s New Voices for 2012 and her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Her story ‘America’ was short-listed for the Caine Prize in African Writing. She is a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award for her debut short story collection, Happiness, Like Water (Granta). Her debut novel will be published by Granta in 2015.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Under the Udala Trees

One day in 1968, at the height of the Biafran civil war, Ijeoma’s father is killed and her world is transformed forever. Separated from her grief-stricken mother, she meets another young lost girl, Amina, and the two become inseparable. Theirs is a relationship that will shake the foundations of Ijeoma’s faith, test her resolve and flood her heart.

In this masterful novel of faith, love and redemption, Okparanta takes us from Ijeoma’s childhood in war-torn Biafra, through the perils and pleasures of her blossoming sexuality, her wrong turns, and into the everyday sorrows and joys of marriage and motherhood. As we journey with Ijeoma we are drawn to the question: what is the value of love and what is the cost?

Chinelo Okparanta on Granta.com

In Conversation | The Online Edition

Chinelo Okparanta | Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists

Chinelo Okparanta & Luke Neima

‘As a person in the diaspora sometimes you ask yourself, well who will claim you? And then it really is up to you to claim a place for yourself.’

Fiction | Granta 139

All the Caged Things

Chinelo Okparanta

‘All that thought of home gave the girl a sickly feeling, the longing of something so out of reach, something she wasn’t even sure she could any longer truly remember.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 139

Notes from Uzbekistan

Chinelo Okparanta

‘The cultural presentations of the students – that juxtaposition of old and new world, of tradition and modernity.’