And Yet They Were Happy by Helen Phillips

And Yet They Were Happy

"Brilliant miniatures. . . . Like the fables of Calvino, Millhauser, or W.S. Merwin. . . . Beautifully blends short story and prose poem. . . . Mermaids, subways, floods, cucumbers, magicians. . . .The book is a gallery of marvels. Phillips guides us through the 'Hall of Nostalgia For Things We Have Never Seen,' 'the factory where the virgins are made,' and 'the Anne Frank School for Expectant Mothers.' A depressed Noah admits he 'didn't get them...

Details And Yet They Were Happy

TitleAnd Yet They Were Happy
Release DateMay 17th, 2011
PublisherLeapfrog Press
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Novels, Poetry, Literature, American

Reviews And Yet They Were Happy

  • Lori
    Read 6/7/11 - 6/23/113 Stars - Recommended to readers familiar with genrePgs: 305And Yet They Were Happy joined the list of author/reader discussion novels this month on TNBBC and was welcomed with words of praise and excitement.This collection of short stories stands out among the rest of it's kind because each of the stories contained between it's covers are exactly two pages long: Two-paged stories that detail the lives of a young recently mar...
  • Jeannine
    On the recommendation of no less of a highbrow literary publication than Elle Magazine (and hey, I discovered Louise Gluck through Cosmo, so…) I picked up a copy of Helen Phillips’ And Yet They Were Happy. Once again, I turned the page expecting long chapters and a traditional narrative, but found, instead, over a hundred connected short form pieces – about two pages apiece – with narrators that shifted, apocalyptic overtones, characters ...
  • Kaycee
    I loved this book! It made me think, laugh out loud on the subway, and steal away moments to read throughout the day. I savored each little story bit by bit, not wanting the all the goodness to end. Can't wait to start reading it all over again. If you are a girlfriend of mine please buy this book and support an awesome new author!
  • Alayne Bushey
    Some stories simply win you over with sheer perseverance.Opening the cover of And Yet They Were Happy by Helen Phillips I was certainly not prepared for the fable-like entries on each page. More than a collection of short-stories, Phillips' work consists of brief snippets into her mind, tiny replications of places, moments, moods. Fears. Each scene part of a theme, the floods, the envies, the regimes, taking place in the limited span of a spread ...
  • Jasmine
    So I bought a nook recently. I didn't read this on the nook cause it won't be available on the nook until the 17th but also because I didn't see any reason to read it on the nook. I bought it the day it came in, then phillips came in and signed, so I switched mine out for a signed copy. It's a lovely book, heavy with that matte fuzzy feeling and YELLOW. Okay to the point, I think the author wrote the back cover, I say this because I'm not sure th...
  • Jennie
    Much like a Magic Eye painting, you had to soften your gaze and look through this to see the real picture. Really cool.
  • Kelly Lynn Thomas
    I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn't. I couldn't finish it. It's not a novel, but a collection of two-page flash fiction pieces arranged by topic. So, there are the "Floods," and the "Failures" and a bunch of ones titled "We?" etc. Each story in that section is titled "We? #1," "We? #2," so on and so forth.The reasons I didn't like this book are as follows:1: Each story is approximately the same length. Super monotonous.2: The prose ...
  • Wendy G
    I confess: I did not finish this book. I did enjoy Helen Phillips' writing, and the imagery that she used throughout this innovative novel. You can read from the descriptions of "And Yet They Were Happy": each vignette is just two pages long, and they're organized by theme. Very original concept. However, I did find that after a while, I lost interest in the concept and I was yearning for something to tie it all together. It wasn't there.
  • Zack Reese
    I have read many, many books but I'm pretty sure this is my first review and moving forward, I'll only be reviewing books I've read from May 2017 onward. (At least for now.) This is legit not my type of book, usually I lean more towards YA, but it's cool because it's split into multiple mini-stories that aren't exactly connected and only last for two pages. It's something to leave on the coffee table and read when you're bored, but I wouldn't rec...
  • Alicia Farmer
    By the end I just wanted to be done with this book. But along the way I felt truly inspired and impressed by Phillips' gift for telling stories in two pages. Some sweet, some harrowing, some mysterious, some mundane, many with a surreal element. She makes these distillations look effortless.
  • Jan Moens
  • Alison
    Seriously wonderful. This book is marvelous. Humane, beautifully observed, and funny! Full of wonderfully crafted sentences and paragraphs, such a work. All about love and family and marriage and houses and communities and time, but I’ll pick out these two excerpts on America.From “envy #2”:The colonists on the ship that brought the first honey-bees to the New World suffered a worse passage than all other colonists. In addition to everythin...
  • ILoveBooks
    This collection of essays describes the loneliness, courtship, marriage, and life building of a young couple. These narratives of day dreams and nightmares may be difficult for the reader to enter into at first; but then, one of the essays will touch your heart. The reader may feel that the author has illustrated a part of their lives with surprising clarity. For instance, “failure #1” captures the essence of knowing or not knowing simply how...
  • Lacy
    I loved this collection of short stories and flash fiction. Some parts are quite fantastic while others are just over the line of speculative fiction. You could potentially read this in a day, if you felt so inclined, and I would love to discuss which stories stood out beyond the others.A little bit fairy tale, a little bit whimsy, a little bit dark, and thoroughly enjoyable.
  • Corby
    Some really good short pieces that spoke my language, many that made me think "eh?" after reading. Enough "eh?" pieces later and I was just skipping merrily through the book looking for the gems. A few evenings' worth of reading and I was taking it back to the library. So it goes... so it goes...
  • LindaJ^
    This book is a collection of very short, somewhat connected stories. Some are funny, some are sad, some are scary, and some are wistful. No need to read in order - just let the book open and start reading. Impact changes depending on order the reading is done. How many Helen Phillips are there?
  • Erica Spangler
    I couldn't finish this one. It was too much like a book of poetry but not. I want a book I can invest in and this didn't offer me that. The only section I liked was "Floods" and that was the first one. Maybe come back to it...
  • Amy
    This was a beautiful book, with so much emotion contained in such short vignettes. Not every tale resonated with me, but the ones that did made me think long and hard, and it is very likely that upon reading it again in a few years, different stories will affect me.
  • Dina
    This book is simply fantastic. It is a book to be shared!
  • Loelle
    Each chapter is interesting on it's own, yet I was always left wanting more. So no, I wasn't happy.
  • BranDee
    This did not get better for me. I really disliked how it was set up and formatted. The "stories" were largely disjointed. I admit to skimming about halfway through. Not my cuppa tea.
  • Elena
    Weird, interesting, slow-moving. Not sure what to make of these stories.
  • Shannon
    Couldn't get into this one. The stories were a bit too choppy for me to follow so I will have to reshelf this one and try it again later.
  • Jennifer Haydon