I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck

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...there is something uncomfortable about Tuck's use of the historic present throughout. It collapses time – it is a bit of a cheat.


Throughout Lily Tuck’s career, she's been praised by critics for her crisp, lean language and sensuous explorations of exotic locales and complex psychologies. From Siam to Paraguay and beyond, Tuck inspires readers to travel into unfamiliar realms, and her newest novel is no exception. Slender, potent, and utterly engaging, I Married You For Happiness combines marriage, mathematics, and the probability of an afterlife to create Tuck's most affecting and riveting book yet.

“His hand is growing cold, still she holds it” is how this novel that tells the story of a marriage begins. The tale unfolds over a single night as Nina sits at the bedside of her husband, Philip, whose sudden and unexpected death is the reason for her lonely vigil. Still too shocked to grieve, she lets herself remember the defining moments of their long union, beginning with their meeting in Paris. She is an artist, he a highly accomplished mathematician—a collision of two different worlds that merged to form an intricate and passionate love. As we move through select memories—real and imagined—Tuck reveals the most private intimacies, dark secrets, and overwhelming joys that defined Nina and Philip's life together.

About Lily Tuck

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Lily Tuck is the author of five novels: I Married You for Happiness; Interviewing Matisse or the Woman Who Died Standing Up; The Woman Who Walked on Water; Siam, or the Woman Who Shot a Man, nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award; and The News From Paraguay, winner of the National Book Award. She also wrote the biography Woman of Rome: A Life of Else Morante and the story collection Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived.
Published September 21, 2011 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 209 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Below average
Reviewed by Kate Kellaway on Feb 04 2012

...there is something uncomfortable about Tuck's use of the historic present throughout. It collapses time – it is a bit of a cheat.

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