My American Unhappiness

My American Unhappiness

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a€œWhy are you so unhappy?a€ Thata€™s the question that Zeke Pappas, a thirty-three-year-old scholar, asks almost everybody he meets as part of an obsessive project, a€œThe Inventory of American Unhappiness.a€ The answers he receivesa€”a mix of true sadness and absurd complainta€”create a collage of woe. Zeke, meanwhile, remains delightfully oblivious to the increasingly harsh realities that threaten his daily routine, opting instead to focus his energy on finding the perfect mate so that he can gain custody of his orphaned nieces. Following steps outlined in a womena€™s magazine, the ever-optimistic Zeke identifies some a€œprospectsa€: a newly divorced neighbor, a coffeehouse barista, his administrative assistant, and Sofia Coppola (a€œWhy not aim high?a€). A clairvoyant when it comes to the Starbucks orders of strangers, a quixotic renegade when it comes to the federal bureaucracy, and a devoted believer in the afternoon cocktail and the evening binge, Zeke has an irreverent voice that is a marvel of lacerating wit and heart-on-sleeve emotion, underscored by a creeping paranoia and made more urgent by the hope that if he can only find a wife, he might have a second chance at life.After I disposed of the junk mail, I looked at all of the legitimate billsa€”phone, utilities, student loans, insurance premiums, and credit card statements. ... I was still young and easily impressionable, I read this literary tidbit in the introductory text of a famous Paris Review interview and decided ... For example, I would get the J. Crew catalog and begin to peruse its pages, first deciding on an outfit that I wouldanbsp;...

Title:My American Unhappiness
Author:Dean Bakopoulos
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - 2011-06-07


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