Nicola Barker’s twelfth novel, H(a)ppy, is a stylistically innovative story set in a dystopian future where perfected humans have their dreams, thoughts and everyday actions recorded and shared with one another. Within this world – where there is no sickness or death, where people understand each other with precision – Mira A is beginning to tentatively question why she is merely h(a)ppy. Untethered by convention, Nicola Barker’s fascinating novel envisions where its relationship with technology may one day lead our species.
Nicola Barker was born in Ely in 1966 and spent part of her childhood in South Africa. She is the author of twelve novels – including Wide Open, Darkmans, The Yips and In the Approaches – and two short story collections. She has been twice longlisted and once shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, has won the IMPAC, the John Llewellyn Rhys and the Hawthornden Prizes, and was named one of Granta’s 20 Best Young British Writers in 2003. H(a)ppy won the 2017 Goldsmiths Prize and was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018.