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Does trauma define the person? Aminatta Forna's latest novel, Happiness, explores love and loss

Does trauma define the person? Aminatta Forna's latest novel, Happiness, explores love and loss
 
Aminatta Forna, author of "Happiness" Nina Subin

The chance meeting of a Ghanaian psychiatrist and an American urban biologist tracking foxes in London sets the pace for Happiness, the latest novel by award-winning writer Aminatta Forna. Does experiencing a traumatic event damage a person forever? Dr. Attila Asare, bucking traditional trauma research, examines his theory partially through flashbacks for the reader, as well as his attention to a case that he is indirectly tied to.

Noted trauma specialist Dr. Attila Asare comes to London for a conference, plans to visit a relative and see an old flame. He is recovering from the recent death of his wife. Scientist Jean Turane is tracking foxes in London for a project when she becomes involved in Asare's life. She engages a team she has created of fox spotters-- immigrants to the UK who work at night as street cleaners, doormen -- to look for his lost young relative on the streets of London.

Forna sets up the back story of Dr Attila Asare, a civilian trauma expert, as she reads an excerpt from her novel, Happiness. Loss and newfound love come together on the page in her latest work.

 

 

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