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'Happiness' Explores The Complex Push And Pull Of Human Relationships

Heather Harpham's memoir centers on her baby daughter's struggle with a dangerous illness — but broadens out to include her family and her own fraught relationship with the baby's reluctant father.
Happiness: A Memoir: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After By Heather Harpham. Source: Henry Holt and Co.

Nina Martyris is a literature-focused freelancer. Her writing has appeared in NewYorker.com, The Paris Review Daily, The Guardian, NPR and elsewhere.

Sixteen years ago, life seemed perfect for drama teacher Heather Harpham when she fell in love with Brian Morton, an award-winning equipped with a "sly, sly humor." Sure, they were a study in opposites — he was a disciplined, "diffident, sexy, Jewish intellectual," she a California free spirit; he ate broccoli with brown rice and garlic sauce for

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