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In a world become ever larger and more impersonal, Malouf finds happiness in an unlikely place. This is a book to savour and reflect upon by one of Australia's greatest novelists.

What Makes For a Happy Life?

Amid the constant chatter of today's world, with its 24-hour news cycles, Twitter and mobile communications, David Malouf returns to the ancient question of what makes us happy.
With grace and profundity, Malouf discusses new and old ways to talk about contentment and the self.  In considering the happy life - what it is, and what makes it possible - he returns to the 'highest wisdom' of the classics, looks at how, thanks to Thomas Jefferson's way with words, happiness became a 'right,' and contrasts joy in the flesh, as depicted by Rubens and Rembrandt, with the way we view our bodies today.
In a world become ever larger and more impersonal, Malouf finds happiness in an unlikely place. This is a book to savour and reflect upon by one of Australia's greatest novelists.
'A rewarding reflection on human restlessness and the need for limits.' The Age
'Entertaining and insightful.' The Sydney Morning Herald
'A wonderful . . . reflection on happiness in the Western tradition.' The Canberra Times

Reviews

'A poised and deeply humane essay, beautifully written and carefully argued.' Australian 'A rewarding reflection on human restlessness and the need for limits.' Age 'Entertaining and insightful.' Sydney Morning Herald

PRH, PRH

'A wonderful . . . reflection on happiness in the Western tradition.' Canberra Times 'A worthwhile read . . . carried along by Malouf's smooth prose and the quiet, modest way he reveals a lifetime of observation, reading and thinking.' Adelaide Review

PRH, PRH

PRH, PRH

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781863955461

    October 3, 2011

    Black Inc

    144 pages

    RRP $19.95

    Online retailers

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Also by David Malouf

An Open Book
The One Day: Short Black 7
Being There
The Writing Life
A First Place
Earth Hour
The Conversations At Curlew Creek
The Happy Life: The Search of Contentment in the Modern World: Quarterly Essay 41
Harland's Half Acre
Ransom
The Complete Stories
On Experience
Revolving Days: Selected Poems
Every Move You Make
Typewriter Music
Made in England: Australia's British Inheritance: Quarterly Essay 12
Dream Stuff
Johnno
Jane Eyre
The Great World
12 Edmondstone Street
Antipodes
Fly Away Peter
An Imaginary Life

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ISS 22 Indian Muslims
Beautiful Failures
The Pursuit of Happiness
Battle for the Flag
The Making of Australia
Animal Liberation
There It Is Again
Scraps of Wool
Chronicles of a Liquid Society
The Conversation Yearbook 2017
The Meaning of Rice
Whiteley on Trial
Labor of Love