How Happy To Be

cover-how-happy-to-be“Katrina Onstad finds that magic place between fact and fiction and charms the reader with her discovery. A wonderful book.”
– Douglas Coupland

This razor-sharp, witty debut novel catapulted Katrina Onstad into the media spotlight and set her up as the exciting young writer to watch.

How Happy to Be captures the life of a disillusioned entertainment journalist as she heads into a downward spiral of ritual substance abuse and empty punditry. Along this path of self-destruction, her past on a West Coast commune, both comic and poignant, keeps intruding. It isn’t until her indiscretions catch up with her that she realizes that any chance at happiness depends on uncovering, at last, her one true story. Fierce and funny, touched with sorrow, How Happy to Be is a richly rewarding read about one woman’s escape from the pop culture noise of the twenty-first century.

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Best of ’06 in Maclean’s and NOW Magazine

“Onstad’s book resides on a literary plane of its own. It is scorching, self-hating and dark — like Sam Lipsyte’s work, or Martin Amis’s — and powerful in its ability to drum up emotion (in this regard she leaves the above mentioned writers in the dust).”

“Pop culture geeks will go nuts for Onstad’s brutal dissection of the life of a media whore. . . . A triumph.”

  • NOW Magazine

“Katrina Onstad’s How Happy to Be is an acerbic, hilarious and culturally astute page-turner of a debut.”

  • Flare

“Young women will relate profoundly and personally . . . . A working woman’s Nick Hornby, Onstad has created a pithy, poppy text about being adrift.”

  • Globe and Mail

“A deft meditation on nostalgia, grieving and familial relations. . . .Fresh, compelling and flawless.”

  • Toronto Star

“[An] ambitious and impressive first novel . . . intelligent and arresting. An auspicious literary debut.”

  • National Post

“Katrina Onstad writes poignantly about the failed ideals of one generation and the lack of ideals in this one. From communes to movie stars, this book is an act of redemption, one that is funny, wise and honest.”

  • David Layton

“Katrina Onstad offers a sharp, new edge to the Canadian literary landscape. How Happy to Be jumps out at the reader with a hip, ironic voice that offers a poignant mixture of sassy humour and raw exploration of human alienation.”

  • Lawrence Hill

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View at McClelland & Stewart