This episode is a recording of a talk held on January 14, 2015, at the Portland Public Library as part of its Brown Bag Lecture Series. We join Maine author Brock Clarke as he discusses his newest book, The Happiest People in the World.
As Bob Keyes of the Portland Press Herald stated in his introduction to the talk, “Last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris resonate in the pages of The Happiest People in the World…I appreciated his wry commentary on human behavior, his cutting asides, and his commitment to cynicism. Brock is not a joke-a-minute kind of guy. His punch lines are the astute observations of humankind, which fill the pages of The Happiest People in the World. It’s a funny, unlikely novel about mostly unhappy people who live in a very cold place.”
Brock Clarke is a professor of English at Bowdoin College and the author of five works of fiction, most recently the novels Exley (a Kirkus Book of the Year, a finalist for the Maine Book Award, and a longlist finalist for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award) and An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England (a national bestseller, American Library Associate Notable Book of the Year, a #1 Book Sense Pick, a Borders Original Voices in Fiction selection, and a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice pick). His books have been reprinted in a dozen international editions, and have been awarded the Mary McCarthy Prize for Fiction, the Prairie Schooner Book Series Prize, a National Endowment for Arts Fellowship, and an Ohio Council for the Arts Fellowship, among others.